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First Scottish human trafficking conviction

A man and a woman have been sentenced at the Sheriff Court at Glasgow to 44 months and 18 months imprisonment respectively after pleading guilty to human trafficking, in a contravention of Section 22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003.

This was the first prosecution for human trafficking in Scotland, however there have previously been a number of successful prosecutions for criminal offences against a background of people trafficking, such as identity offences, trading in prostitution, managing an immoral house, knowingly permitting premises to be used as brothel and knowingly living on the earnings of prostitution.

The prosecutions were the culmination of a significant Police operation conducted over a number of months involving officers from the PSNI and Strathclyde Police as well as officers in England and Wales; in close liaison with the Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow, and in consultation with United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre, UKBA, Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance and Migrant Helpline.

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, said:
 
“This is a landmark conviction for human trafficking in Scotland and represents the success of close working between police and prosecutors across the UK. It is only thanks to the hard work of Strathclyde Police, PSNI and other forces and agencies that organised crime of this nature can be detected, their activity stopped and the perpetrators brought to justice.”