NI is ‘a back door for people smuggling’

Well before the committee’s final report the environmental and health impacts (diesel acid being one of them) of organised crime in Northern Ireland were in the public domain. But the chairman Patrick Cormack’s comments seem to point to something much darker in human terms: the trafficking of migrants into the UK and the Republic. He went on to blame Sinn Fein for its continuing withdrawal of support for the PSNI in curtailing official countermeasures.

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  • Brian Boru

    A real example of the problems caused by the border. The British need to beef up security at the NI ports.

  • Young Fogey

    Of course, if fuel in this country weren’t at such an obscene and artificial price, then there wouldn’t be any problem with diesel acid.

  • fair_deal

    The story of human trafficking has been bumbling under the surface for a while now. Hopefully this report will start getting it some of the attention it deserves.

  • Mick Fealty

    I must admit I’ve not heard of it before. But it suggests a fairly grim backstory.

  • Pete Baker

    There was a recent case of two brothers, one based in Dublin the other in Derry charged with trafficking, Mick.. I’ll see if I can hunt down the link.

    Although, it should be pointed out to Brian, and anyone else, that, as with the cocaine smuggling route that saw two German nationals arrested at Belfast Airport a week or so ago.. it’s into the Republic.. then into Northern Ireland and, sometimes, beyond.

  • fair_deal

    “I must admit I’ve not heard of it before.”

    It came up a few times in my old job. A key difficulty is that will SOCA on the mainland has it as a priority SOCA’s role in Scotland and NI is limited. In Scotland because of different devolutionary priorities and in Northern Ireland because of the priorities of the Organised Crime task Force. OCTF is only monitoring the issue and does not consider it a real priority. The raid a brothel in south belfast every now and again and that’s about it.

  • Pete Baker

    That case of the two brothers charged with trafficking.. case doesn’t seem to have come to court yet though

    And the arrests at Belfast Int Airport

  • It looks like those brothers are accused of smuggling, not trafficking. There is a difference.

    Also important to note in the UTV article: “the minister had not received evidence confirming that paramilitaries were involved in human trafficking”.

  • Pete Baker

    Wed

    There are two separate cases linked.

    From the first link:

    “These men are engaged in people trafficking,” said the Crown lawyer.

    And no-one has mentioned paramilitary involvement in this, neither in the original post nor in the subsequent comments.

  • Pete, crown lawyers are capable of misusing terminology, too. If the brothers are engaged in trafficking it is not apparent at all from the details related in the article.

    And I know the accusation of paramilitary involvement wasn’t explicitly made, but that seemed to me to be the undertone of the article, or maybe I’m just paranoid from years of ‘subtle’ attempts to link republicans to this that and the other thing!

  • Pete Baker

    “maybe I’m just paranoid”

    Maybe, indeed. ;o)

  • mnob

    Brian you will be pleased to know that the UK and ROI have a common border agreement which covers precisely this sort of thing and treats Ireland (the island) as a single entity. Depending on your political stance tho you might be dismayed that it is organised on a British Isles basis.

  • Rory

    He went on to blame Sinn Fein for its continuing withdrawal of support for the PSNI in curtailing official countermeasures. says Slugger.

    Its report also expressed concern about the involvement of professionals in organised crime which was becoming more sophisticated in Northern Ireland.

    “It is incumbent on the professional bodies, such as the Law Society and the Institute of Chartered Accounts to satisfy themselves that their membership requirements are sufficiently rigorous and that observance of them is carefully monitored,” the committee of MPs said.

    Now there are two bodies some of whose members are widely understood to be implicit in easing the passage for organised criminals that might more fruitfully taken to task. Perhaps Sir Patrick might have better considered criticising Sinn Fein for their failure to use their good offices in influencing these bodies in rooting out their rogue elements.

  • Young Fogey

    I see that according to the Guardian the committee said exactly what I said.

  • Reader

    Rory: Now there are two bodies some of whose members are widely understood to be implicit in easing the passage for organised criminals that might more fruitfully taken to task.
    Sheesh – be careful. People have died on the back of that sort of rhetoric over here.

  • Rory

    Thank you, Reader, for your concern, but I have endured a few run-ins, close shaves, open threats and near misses from gunshots in my time for my attitude. But I am old now and others younger than I have had their lives foreshortened. I should much rather lose out on a time of mortal existence than suppress the quality of my freedom of thought within it.

    Anyway, for my sins, I am an accountant myself and when Shakespeare is quoted – “First let’s kill the lawyers” I always add sotto voce “and don’t forget the accountants”.
    Best we clean out our own stables first, I say, even if a bit Sisseyphian for the professions.

  • Reader

    Rory: But I am old now and others younger than I have had their lives foreshortened.
    Actually, I saw your remark as a shadow of Douglas Hogg’s remarks, rather than seeing you in the role of Pat Finucane.
    Unlike Douglas Hogg, are you planning to name those that you accuse, or just implicate all lawyers and accountants by association?