Human trafficking: Charges after police action in Fife
Four people have appeared in court after a police operation to tackle human trafficking.
Operation Risbalit saw enforcement activity across across east and west Scotland – including Fife.
Detectives from Edinburgh’s Public Protection Unit targeted six premises in Inverkeithing, Cowdenbeath, Alloa and Glasgow.
Three men aged 41, 24 and 23 were arrested and charged along with a 25-year-old woman.
All were scheduled to appear at Falkirk and Kirkcaldy Sheriff Courts today in connection with human trafficking offences.
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Colleagues from the East Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit and Financial Investigation Unit, as well as key partners from Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigations (CFI); Edinburgh social work; National Human Trafficking Unit; National Crime Agency; BTP; Scotrail; Network Rail and COPFS played vital roles in evidence gathering and resourcing the enforcement process.
In addition to the targeted arrests, visits were carried out at businesses in Bathgate, Bonnyrigg, Edinburgh and Stirling.
These were led by immigration enforcement and supported by officers from Police Scotland.
Detective Inspector Keith Fairbairn said: “Extensive inquiries were undertaken by Police Scotland and supported by a number of other agencies and this culminated in the arrest of four people, who have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
“Identifying human trafficking and supporting victims of such offences is a top priority for Police Scotland.
“Operation Risbalit is an Edinburgh-led inquiry, but our officers will continue to liaise with key counterparts both nationally within Scotland and the UK.
“I want the public to be assured that any report of human trafficking will be treated with the utmost seriousness and investigated thoroughly to bring perpetrators to justice.