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Migrant smuggling vis-à-vis other crime types


The relationship between migrant smuggling and other serious crimes may be addressed from different perspectives:

  • Further to criminalizing the offences enshrined in the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants, States are further required to criminalize several types of conduct under its parent Convention (UNTOC): participation in an organized criminal group (article 5 UNTOC), laundering of the proceeds of crime (article 6 UNTOC), corruption (article 8 UNTOC), and obstruction of justice (article 23 UNTOC). The linkage between smuggling of migrants and these crimes is often 'structural'. That is, corruption (many times of State agents and public officials) is a means to give effect to smuggling, money-laundering maximizes smugglers' possibility of evading detection, obstruction of justice - often by threats and intimidation of smuggled migrants - is a powerful mechanism to obstruct investigations. For an in-depth analysis of the role of corruption in the smuggling of migrants see UNODC's Issue Paper on Corruption and the Smuggling of Migrants .
  • From a substantive viewpoint, migrant smuggling may be inextricably connected to other crimes. For instance, it is not uncommon that smuggled migrants become victims of trafficking in persons, for example in debt bondage situations. Smuggled migrants might be used as 'mules' for the trafficking of drugs.
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