THE arrest yesterday of a man in connection with human trafficking in Co Donegal is a sign that the problem may be far greater here than many of us ever suspected.
Six homes and businesses were searched, while computer and mobile phones have been seized. The Garda operation has so far resulted in six men being taken into protective custody. It comes on foot of a multi-agency investigation which recently discovered that Romanian people are being trafficked into Ireland, forced to live in appalling conditions and work for very little food or money.
At the beginning of last month gardaí smashed one gang involved in trafficking after a teenage male victim rang the Romanian embassy in Dublin appealing for help. Their investigations have now widened into several Romanian gangs operating in the Border counties.
The Garda operations are very welcome but, in tandem with attempting to catch the culprits, the National Employment Rights Authority should be given more resources and powers to detect workers being held as modern-day slaves.
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