More Vietnamese children being trafficked to Scotland: report

September 19, 2017 | 02:34 pm GMT+7

Reports suggest they are being smuggled in via Russia to work in cannabis farms and nail salons.

Scotland has raised the alert about the number of Vietnamese children it fears are being trafficked to its capital.

Scottish newspaper The Scotsman said in a Monday report that Edinburgh police had found 16 Vietnamese teenagers at the city’s airport or wandering the streets in the last 18 months.

They are all believed to have been trafficked by gangs via Russia to work in cannabis farms and nail bars in the U.K., it said.

The number of overseas children being cared for by the city has increased to 33, and could generate an additional annual care bill of £1 million ($1.35 million), the report cited an official source as saying.

Vietnamese account for a large number of victims trafficked into cannabis farms and nail bars in the U.K.

A 2014 National Crime Agency study found that nearly three quarters of trafficking victims forced into criminal activities in the U.K., including cannabis cultivation, were Vietnamese.

The U.K. National Referral Mechanism said Vietnam had the most children trafficked to the U.K. last year at 122.

Kevin Hyland from the U.K.’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner last week called for tighter regulation of nail bars to tackle the exploitation of girls and women trafficked from Vietnam.

His report said traffickers charge between £10,000 and £33,000 ($13,500-44,700) to smuggle people from Vietnam to the U.K. More than half of the victims are children and many are also sexually exploited, he said.

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