As Ukraine-Russia war continues, some Criminal gangs are taking advantage of the situation by cashing in on the wave of women refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine and targeting them in a bid to turn them into human slaves or sex workers. More than a million people mostly women and children have fled the country amid the war since last week's invasion by the Russians, According to DailyMail.
Officials from the European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN) are worried that approximately seven million people could cross over to Ukraine's neighboring countries such as Poland, Moldova, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania and become victim of human trafficking as campaigner said.
It is feared that some of the refugees is going to end up as sex workers, become criminals, domestic slave or forced labor with many potentially ending up in the UK, according to reports. Reports suggest that women and young families have accepted offers of 'free' transport to escape Ukraine and cross over to neighboring countries only for them to then turn themselves to criminal gangs who demand payment from them.
"I heard from a friend who crossed into Poland and told me she went with a guy who said he would take her to Warsaw for free but when they got there he asked for money," a Ukrainian woman, 27, said adding, "He got aggressive with her but he didn't get physical just saying he owed her the money and would have to pay her by working for him," according to reports.
"She started shouting and managed to run away as people were watching. We are spreading the word among people to be careful," the woman noted.
Human trafficking policy expert, Lauren Agnew, told MailOnline, "The war in Ukraine will create a worsening situation in terms of human trafficking. It will have a vulnerable domino effect across Europe and refugees are at an increasingly high risk of exploitation."