Texas deputies flying to Ukraine-Poland border to combat refugee trafficking

McLennan County deputies with the Human Trafficking Unit will be training the Polish border patrol to look for signs of trafficking


By Suzie Ziegler 

WACO, Texas — The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office is sending its Human Trafficking Unit to Poland to help protect Ukrainian refugees, reported KWTX

“They’ve been requested to come to Poland and help fight human trafficking,” said Sheriff Parnell McNamara. “That says a whole lot for the human trafficking program here, and I’m very proud of that.” 

Det. Joseph Scaramucci is one of the officers headed to Poland, where he’ll join a Waco-based anti-trafficking organization called Unbound. 

“You’ve got people that are in kind of the worst position they could ever be in. They’re fleeing a war-torn country,” Scaramucci told KWTX. “Anywhere that you have vulnerability, you’re going to have somebody that’s wanting to exploit that.” 

Scaramucci says his unit will be training the border patrol and police in Poland. 

“Assisting with identification, using some technologies we have access to that they necessarily don’t, to help identify people who may be there for nefarious reasons,” said Scaramucci. 

He says Unbound has been entering Ukraine to give refugees information about safe lodgings and how to identify trafficking “red flags.” 

“One of the things they’re finding is—traffickers are posing as aid relief workers and offering aid and or places to stay and live,” said Scaramucci. 

“It’s very brave on their part, going there,” said McNamara. “McLennan County is going to be well represented in Poland helping these poor Ukrainians who are fleeing their country,” 

The unit was expected to fly out on Monday and stay for 10 days, according to the report. 

NEXT: Into the war zone: What first responders should consider before going to Ukraine

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