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View Full Version : EDIT NEW IMPORTANT QUESTION -- Companies with Dirty Dealings and Human Trafficking



Roly
10-07-2010, 01:43 AM
CHECK POST 15 FOR NEW QUESTION!!

This may seem like an odd question, but in my wip I have this company that has dealings with a illegal human trafficking...ring? I guess you'd call it? I don't even know.

Anyway, I want to portray that believably but in truth I have no idea how. HOW and WHY would a company have ties with human trafficking? What sorts of things go into keeping that secret, and why would they risk getting nailed by the law just for cash? How would the two industries (this particular company and human trafficking) sustain/help each other? What kind of company would have dealings in human trafficking (or does it even matter)? What kinds of things would the company need to do in order to evade the law?

Also, does human trafficking have certain...sects or circles or rings or gangs or whatever? How is that even organized?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, any and all help you can give me would be muuuuch appreciated!

veinglory
10-07-2010, 01:48 AM
What sort of human trafficking? The main types are for sex workers, and for work gangs (fruit pickers, cleaners, construction etc).

waylander
10-07-2010, 01:50 AM
Construction workers for Middle East building projects, domestic servants in the Middle east

Roly
10-07-2010, 02:23 AM
What sort of human trafficking? The main types are for sex workers, and for work gangs (fruit pickers, cleaners, construction etc).

Oh I didn't even realize - um, I think sex-workers...like trafficking of humans for the purpose of using them for sex.

Actually it could be both...I didn't even consider the latter group. It could be interesting to pursue...

Clair Dickson
10-07-2010, 03:31 AM
I would think that the main company would have ownership of other companies (maybe even layers deep) and these smaller companies could be fronts for the human trafficking. Maybe they seem legit on paper, but no one really knows or cares what they do. Big companies do own or have large holdings in other companies regularly, so it's not a stretch. And the farther one gets from the main company, the less likely people in that company would actually know what's going on.

Smiling Ted
10-07-2010, 07:56 AM
I think you have such a broad range of questions that you might have better luck pursuing research on your own. A quick Google search and a single afternoon of reading Internet sources might not just answer your current questions, but suggest avenues you weren't aware of.

RJK
10-07-2010, 05:45 PM
Companies with legitimate products or services could be used to launder the profits from human trafficking organizations. Worldwide, human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar business, with hundred of thousands of sex slaves, mostly underage girls, and indentured slaves paying off huge debts with high interest rates and service charges.

Kenra Daniels
10-07-2010, 06:46 PM
I saw part of a recent CNN interview with a rescued sex slave. She was Hispanic, and had been brought to the US when she was fifteen, by her 'boyfriend'. She was promised she would work in a factory. Instead when she arrived, she was drugged, raped multiple times, and ultimately kept drugged and forced to have sex with fifty or more men a day.

PeterL
10-07-2010, 09:35 PM
There are legitimate companies that arrange for migrant labor in a number of fields. The company might recruit high tech workers for jobs in Silicon Valley, domestic workers for the same region, and women for brothels in Nevada. They might even have a way to use H1-B visas.

Wiskel
10-08-2010, 12:57 AM
This may seem like an odd question, but in my wip I have this company that has dealings with a illegal human trafficking...ring? I guess you'd call it? I don't even know.

Anyway, I want to portray that believably but in truth I have no idea how. HOW and WHY would a company have ties with human trafficking? What sorts of things go into keeping that secret, and why would they risk getting nailed by the law just for cash? How would the two industries (this particular company and human trafficking) sustain/help each other? What kind of company would have dealings in human trafficking (or does it even matter)? What kinds of things would the company need to do in order to evade the law?

Also, does human trafficking have certain...sects or circles or rings or gangs or whatever? How is that even organized?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, any and all help you can give me would be muuuuch appreciated!


Writing is such a good excuse for exercising the evil manipulative ruthless curious but definately law abiding bits of the brain.

With any big problem, break it down into parts.

1. What are the stages in human trafficking?

You need:
someone idenitifying targets or conning "volunteers" in some way
someone kidnapping targets / getting people into the transport
someone doing the transporting
possibly someone helping sidestep problems like customs
someone keeping the people captive when they arrive
somewhere for them to be kept
a client paying money for either ownership of the people or use of them

Your company needs to be involved in one of those roles or your company shouldn't be involved.

2. So what does your company have?

people overseas in a position to be spotters / conmen?
people overseas willing to commit criminal acts?
access to easy transport - ships / lorries / private airfields?
contacts in customs and money for bribes?
willing henchmen to keep the captives secure?
lots of property for the captives to be kept in?
big clients with questionable morals and demanding tastes?

3. When you know what they have, you can figure why they'd take the risk

arrogant criminal owners and this is their real business meaning everything else is a front?
a leader who has questionable morals and demanding tastes himself who is actually a client of the traffickers?
huge debts they can't pay off from legitimate business?
something hanging over their head as blackmail?


This should help you answer the questions you've asked. There is no single answer but a lot of possibilities.....and virtually no way for a company to fall into this type of activity by accident and very few ways to keep it secret without a willingness to be pretty ruthless.


Craig

DrZoidberg
10-08-2010, 10:59 AM
In Sweden we have a problem that foreign prostitutes have a plenty of incentives to say that they've been forced into sexual slavery even if they haven't. If they're here willingly they're breaking several laws and may go to jail and forced to pay fines. While if they say they've been forced to be sex slaves they get quite a few perks, and if the brothel owners are convicted, they get a lot of compensation money.

There's also a huge grey area. Imagine a scenario where a girl is here willingly and illicitly as a prostitute but the work isn't exactly as described and she has a contract/cannot afford to travel home. Is that a sex trafficked sex slave? According to the statistics she is.

So the statistics on which prostitutes are forced and who are here willingly is, to say the least, not reliable. They need to be picked apart. There's a Swedish researcher working on sex work that I like. She's got a good blog where she explains the problems with the numbers.

http://www.lauraagustin.com/

edit: My whole point with this, is to show that there's a lot of "information" about trafficking that is extrapolations from dodgy data or more or less mythic traffickers. The truth is that nobody really knows the extent of sex trafficking. The numbers just don't exist.

Roly
10-08-2010, 11:29 PM
Wow, so much information! Thanks guys! I'll take all this into account...and now I just have to figure out just how one would go about discovering/uncovering this company's involvement.

Carlene
10-13-2010, 09:12 PM
I just went to a lecture last night at our local library. The speaker, Bill Hillar, was the model for the movie, "Taken." I won't even try to quote all the statistics here but just google Human Trafficking and you'll get a lot. Yes, most of it is girls for the sex trade - the average age is 12. Hillar mentioned that most of the big new hotels in Dubai were built with men who were lured there by human traffickers, basically slave labor. It's an HUGE problem and very hard to stop because it's so lucrative.

Carlene

Namatu
10-13-2010, 11:15 PM
There are a lot of good Internet resources out there on the subject, including the general breakdown of how a trafficking ring is organized. There are also several good books that will provide some basic information, and I've seen some news shows on CNN and elsewhere that gave more "on the ground" insight into human trafficking. And this article (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/05/080505fa_fact_finnegan?currentPage=all), which I've been reading forever.

Roly
10-20-2010, 04:43 AM
Thanks guys!

I've got another question...if a company is involved with this stuff, would it lead a paper trail? I mean, what kind of evidence would it leave that could possibly be used to expose the company (and hopefully take it down - though WOULD it be taken down? Maybe that depends on their lawyer-power).

lastlittlebird
10-20-2010, 09:49 AM
I imagine your best kind of evidence would be the people who are being traficked. Not only the ones that make it into another country, unfortunately I'd imagine many of them don't make it, and the bodies would have to be disposed of somehow. Also, it would depend on how they were being moved around. Would they use legitimate cargo as a front? If so descrepancies between what they say they've transported and what they've actually transported would be a start. How are the people being paid for? If in cash, I'd imagine it would be difficult to completely hide it when it is deposited, so there might be a trail there. Also, the promises that are made to the victims might involve some kind of paper based propaganda, leaflets or something. That's all I can think of off the top of my head. But yeah, I'd say the main evidence would be in the mouths of the victims themselves.

Hallen
10-20-2010, 10:43 PM
Paperwork? In a way yes, but it depends. The only kind of "company" that would be involved in this kind of thing is something setup and owned by organized crime. The only reason to have a company would be to use it as a cover and possibly for money laundering. It wouldn't be a legitimate business. If they had a cover business, you might be able to see very over-inflated revenues for the products they use as a cover, but most likely, only only be able to see big money moving around in unrelated people's bank accounts.

No legitimate company would be involved in something like human trafficking. Why would they? It is much less risky and much more profitable to take the work to the cheap labor rather than the other way around.

veinglory
10-20-2010, 10:48 PM
Plenty of legitimate companies hire 'work gangs' and just turn a blind eye to how the gang leaders acquire, control and treat the workers. This it true for industries from shell fish gathering to skyscraper construction and across pretty much all countries to a greater or lesser extent. A language barrier help to prevent the workers real plight (and forged documents) from being too apparent. Often the people arrive willingly based on false promises and are them effectively enslaved by document seizure, isolation, threats and debt.

PeterL
10-20-2010, 11:08 PM
Thanks guys!

I've got another question...if a company is involved with this stuff, would it lead a paper trail? I mean, what kind of evidence would it leave that could possibly be used to expose the company (and hopefully take it down - though WOULD it be taken down? Maybe that depends on their lawyer-power).

Outfits in that line of work usually are found out only when one of the imported people starts talking after being pick ed up for something else. Most of the evidence would be in personal knowledge. If it was one of the outfits that charter ships to bring Chinese to the U.S.A., then there would be the rental agreement, but that might be sitting in a lawyer's office in Penang. There is muh to be said for not keeping records.

Hallen
10-21-2010, 01:20 AM
Plenty of legitimate companies hire 'work gangs' and just turn a blind eye to how the gang leaders acquire, control and treat the workers. This it true for industries from shell fish gathering to skyscraper construction and across pretty much all countries to a greater or lesser extent. A language barrier help to prevent the workers real plight (and forged documents) from being too apparent. Often the people arrive willingly based on false promises and are them effectively enslaved by document seizure, isolation, threats and debt.
Sure, but that's different than being the smuggler or slaver. Yes, it's unethical and illegal, but still not the same. I would also bet that the company contracted with an "agent" who is legitimate (on paper) to provide the labor allowing the company to easily turn a blind eye. I would also bet there are lots of companies, maybe naively, who don't know it's happening.

My point is, from a story standpoint, be very careful to not fall into the Hollywood cliche of the evil, immoral corporation participating actively in human trafficking to just shave a few pennies off of cost. That isn't going to happen because the consequences are much worse, and more costly, than it's worth. That's a suggestion, not a rule, btw. :D

veinglory
10-21-2010, 01:29 AM
Sure, it is very rarely a deliberate choice from the top outside of a few sex worker rings--more a matter of benign disinterest in how things get done. The exception would be outfits that are already a form of organised crime syndicate....

But I think financial entrapment, isolation and intimidation does amount to salvery if the person wants to leave but is not able to leave and is not compensstaed for their work to any reasonable extent (if at all).

whacko
10-21-2010, 02:03 AM
Hi Roly,

I don't know what type of company you have in mind. But...

If you had a particularly ruthless, but thorough, pharmaceutical company developing a wonder drug, they may well consider it neccessary to test on unknown, and secret, "volunteers".

So why would they go to these extremes?

1. Public Image - no animals were harmed in the production of our vitamins, so sales stay up. But that obviously leaves them with development problems.
2. Public Image - if lab tests on animals were disastrous, and the results recorded or leaked, the wonder drug under development would be a non-starter.
3. Money - if they'd already spent millions and were afraid of what the government and the papers might say about the dangers of their new product, all those lovely dollars would be lost. And the share price would take a nosedive.
4. Intellectual copyright - they may be scared that a competitor latches onto their findings, beats them to the punch, and they lose out big time.
5. I'm sure there's more. Mostly involving money and finance. And regulations.

So, basically, they're trafficking humans as lab monkeys.

Bloody hell, that sounds quite good doesn't it?

Linda Adams
10-21-2010, 03:19 AM
Article published in the Washington Times (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/18/wetzstein-fighting-trafficking-for-the-family/) this week ...

By the way, I had to run a search on the newspaper's website to find the article. A lot of hits for this subject. You might try your local newspaper and see what you get.

Tsu Dho Nimh
10-21-2010, 04:00 AM
Thanks guys!

I've got another question...if a company is involved with this stuff, would it lead a paper trail? I mean, what kind of evidence would it leave that could possibly be used to expose the company (and hopefully take it down - though WOULD it be taken down? Maybe that depends on their lawyer-power).

My question is this: What does this trafficking do for your plot? Why does this company have to be doing this and not something else like gun running?

**************
Yes, it would leave some sort of a paper trail ... Here are two books written for the non-accountant that explain how to look for a paper trail:

http://www.amazon.com/Expert-Fraud-Investigation-Step-Step/dp/0470387963/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1 and http://www.amazon.com/Essentials-Corporate-Fraud-Tracy-Coenen/dp/047019412X/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2

The author is a forensic accountant.

And this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Executive-Roadmap-Prevention-Internal-Controls/dp/0471739278/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b