The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced that domestically 82 minors were rescued and 239 traffickers and their associates were arrested as part of Operation Cross Country X.
It is an international effort focusing on underage human trafficking that ran from October 13 to 16, 2016.
FBI Director James Comey and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) Director John Clark announced the results of the operation last week at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) convention in San Diego, California.
This is the 10th iteration of FBI-led initiative, which took place across the United States and, for the first time, also in several countries around the world.
Law enforcement partners from Cambodia, Canada, the Philippines, and Thailand had operations in their respective countries.
In Canada, as part of a corresponding effort called Northern Spotlight, authorities recovered 16 children, while in Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines, authorities recovered 25 children, including a 2-year-old girl.
“Operation Cross Country aims to shine a spotlight into the darkest corners of our society that seeks to prey on the most vulnerable of our population,” said FBI Director Comey.
According to FBI, operations took place in a number of locations, including hotels, truck stops, and street corners. Minors recovered during an arrest are engaged with state protective services and victim assistance.
Depending on the level of need, a law enforcement officer and, if available, an FBI victim specialist will accompany the survivor to obtain these services.
According to FBI, Operation Cross Country X is the largest ever in the history of the initiative, with 55 FBI field offices and 74 Child Exploitation Task Forces representing more than 400 law enforcement organizations taking part in the operation.
In addition, several dozen operations across Canada, and approximately 10 operations took place in six cities across Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
Photo / Video courtesy: FBI
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