National Crime Agency reportedly to pursue lawyers accused of helping traffickers
The Guardian claims that the NCA is preparing to pursue up to 100 lawyers
The Guardian newspaper published an article on 18 May claiming that the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) is preparing to pursue up to 100 lawyers it believes are helping people traffickers abuse the country’s modern slavery laws and the asylum system.
According to the exclusive report, UK ministers have claimed that Albanian criminal gangs in particular are being assisted by solicitors in order to misuse the modern slavery and asylum system, with record numbers of people being referred to the Home Office as potential victims of exploitation. The NCA’s investigation into the allegations is reportedly focused on the professional enablers of such crime, namely how the legal industry and individual legal professionals are helping organised criminal groups circumvent the system.
The UK government is currently seeking to remove the temporary protections offered to suspected victims of modern slavery or human trafficking through the provisions set out in the Illegal Migration Bill. More specifically, as currently drafted, the Illegal Migration Bill would allow the UK to disqualify referrals made by illegal migrants on public order grounds due to the risks associated with largescale illegal migration and return individuals to their home country where possible, or to a safe third country.