"53906","2/22/2006 19:08","06THEHAGUE399","Embassy The Hague","UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY","06THEHAGUE399","VZCZCXRO5569
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ
DE RUEHTC #0399/01 0531908
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221908Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4903
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 1091
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KIEV 0415
RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 0398
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 1962
RUEHAT/AMCONSUL AMSTERDAM 0404
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC","UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 000399
STATE FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI, EUR/PGI, EUR/UBI
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM, ELAB, SMIG, KCRM, KWMN, PREL, NL
SUBJECT: TIP EXPERTISE CENTER STRENGTHENS DUTCH ANTI-TIP LAW
THE HAGUE 00000399 001.2 OF 002
1. (SBU) Summary. The Dutch National Expertise Center on People Trafficking and Smuggling (EMM) opened on May 18, 2005, bringing together officers from regional, national, and military police, as well as the Social Information and Investigation Service, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The EMM serves as a national resource center for TIP investigations and prosecutions. It is supervised by National TIP Prosecutor Warner ten Kate. The EMM focuses on the most complex trafficking and smuggling cases, and in particular, is developing a test case to prosecute trafficking for labor exploitation, a new area of Dutch trafficking law. The EMM operates a 24-hour a day hotline. End Summary.
2. (U) During a February 13 tour of the TIP Expertise Center, the Director of the Center and the National TIP Prosecutor provided emboffs an overview of the center\'s operations and priorities. The EMM opened on May 18, 2005 and employs 38 officers from the national police (KLDP), regional police forces, and the military police (KMAR, responsible for border security), the Social Ministry\'s Social Information and Investigation Service (SIOD, responsible for enforcement of labor and welfare regulations), and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). The Director of the EMM is Rene Nuijten, the Deputy Director of the National Crime Squad\'s Northeast Region. It is the first interagency center established in response to the Biennial National Crime Threat Assessment, which identified six priorities for combating organized crime; in addition to the EMM, expertise centers are planned on counter-terrorism, drug smuggling, synthetic drugs, money laundering, and arms trafficking.
3. (U) The objective of the EMM is to enhance law enforcement operational effectiveness at the regional and national level by facilitating information gathering and exchange related to people trafficking and smuggling. EMM staff use a multidisciplinary approach to analyze trends and patterns that might not be apparent to police, immigration service, or labor and welfare program investigators working on separate cases. National TIP Prosecutor Warner ten Kate oversees the work of the EMM to ensure that investigations meet requirements for successful prosecution and to ensure consistency with the Justice Ministry\'s overall TIP policy objectives.
4. (U) The EMM focuses on the most complex and potentially precedent-setting trafficking and smuggling cases while regional police and prosecutors handle more routine cases. Each of the Netherlands\' 25 police regions has a TIP investigations team; the 19 regional prosecutor\'s offices each have a designated TIP prosecutor. The expertise center provides training for regional law enforcement authorities to enhance their capacity to successfully identify, investigate and prosecute trafficking and smuggling cases. For example, the Expertise Center Advisor on prostitution trains regional police and immigration officers on interview and document review techniques to help them identify possible TIP victims. EMM Chief Nuijten noted that providing such training also increases the EMM\'s visibility to local and regional authorities as the national resource center for TIP crimes.
5. (U) The EMM has a 24-hour hotline to receive tips, and to provide information and assistance to regional police officials and to victims. The Center also actively engages with police liaisons from other EU member states posted at Europol, and with EuroJust, to encourage joint investigations and cooperation on prosecutions to combat TIP on a European level. EMM chief Nuijten traveled in mid 2005 to Romania, a major source country for TIP victims in the Netherlands, to establish contacts with law enforcement authorities and to train prosecutors. He said that Romanian officials were eager to cooperate with Dutch law enforcement on trafficking cases. He plans to develop similar contacts in Bulgaria and the Ukraine, also important source countries for the Netherlands.
6. (SBU) EMM investigators described several cases currently THE HAGUE 00000399 002.2 OF 002 under investigation. They highlighted, in particular, the first major labor exploitation trafficking case to be investigated since the Dutch TIP legislation was amended to include labor exploitation. The case involves the recruitment of female laborers, primarily from Poland, brought to the Netherlands to work at very low wages and under primitive conditions. The investigation began with a tip to the EMM and is expected to progress through arrest and prosecution of the traffickers. The investigators stressed their intention to build a solid test case to help establish the legal precedents for prosecuting future labor exploitation cases.
7. (SBU) A smuggling operation bringing in North African immigrants seeking employment in the Netherlands was broken up in late 2005 following a joint investigation by the EMM and regional immigration officers. The investigation began after several Dutch municipalities reported a sharp increase in applications for temporary residence permits from North African nationals unqualified for permanent residence status. The investigation revealed that most of the applications listed the same legal advisor. Approximately 250 applicants had been accompanied to the Netherlands by the same escort, who was employed by the legal advisor. Both the legal advisor and the escort were arrested; the case has not yet gone to trial. The EMM subsequently assisted the Immigration Service to revise the procedures for applying for temporary residence permits, and provided training for regional immigration officials on fraud detection methods.
8. (U) The Expertise Center will issue a report in the spring detailing accomplishments in its first year of operations and identifying priorities for future activities.
9. Comment: Early indications are that the Expertise Center will significantly enhance Dutch effectiveness in deterring human traffickers. In addition to bringing together the interagency resources needed to investigate and prosecute complex networks of traffickers, the Center\'s training and information-exchange functions will help improve the capacity of regional police and prosecutors to pursue TIP cases. End Comment.