19-Jul-2018
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131 India-Born British Nationals Found with Links to Organized Crime Gangs in UK

LONDON May 15: A total of 131 Indian-origin citizens of the United Kingdom have been found to have links with organized crime gangs in the country, according to official data released by UK’s National Crime Agency, PTI reported.
 
The largest group of foreign-born criminals in the United Kingdom were found to be Albanians, followed by Pakistanis, who are believed to be involved in wholesale supply of heroin brought in from Afghanistan through ports in the United Kingdom, the report added.
 
The data, obtained through the Organized Crime Group Mapping project, showed that Albanians numbered over 600, while 393 Pakistanis, 131 Indians, 141 Somalis, 78 Poles, 47 Sri Lankans and 44 Nigerians were the other large groups of active gang members who had changed their nationality.
 
“The vast majority of members of organized crime groups in the United Kingdom are British. The data is an important tool to help measure risk, avoid duplication of work between law enforcement partners and helps inform government,” an NCA spokesperson said, the Daily Star reported.
 
Out of the 33,598 gangsters spread across 4,629 syndicates, even though 80 per cent of known organized criminals in the United Kingdom were UK nationals, only 73 per cent were actually born in the country, according to NCA statistics, PTI reported.
 
When birth nationality was compared with current nationality, it emerged that large numbers of organized criminals from India, Pakistan, Somalia, Poland and Kosovo became UK or European Union nationals, the Times reported.
 
There has been an upward trend in criminal firearms discharges, with the majority of weapons not having been previously used, indicating illegal supply from British and overseas sources, the NCA had said in its 2018 National Strategic Assessment (NSA) of serious and organized crime, which was released recently.
 
“Money laundering potentially running to hundreds of billions of pounds impacts the United Kingdom annually, with a significant threat being posed by the criminal exploitation of accounting and legal professionals involved with trust and company provision,” the NSA said in a statement.
 
It added that the United Kingdom is a prime destination for corrupt politically-exposed foreign people, particularly from Russia, Nigeria and Pakistan, who launder money.
 
“This year’s assessment shows that organized crime groups (OCGs) are exploiting digital technology, for instance using encryption to communicate, and dark web market places to aid their activities.
 
Criminals are continuing to develop international connections to increase the reach of their activity, and to maximize profits. We are also seeing ever-increasing crossover between crime threats, with finance at the heart of this,” NCA Director General Lynne Owens said in a statement.
 
Owens added that organized criminals involved in smuggling of people or firearms also supply drugs, and the relationship between organized immigration crime and modern slavery is becoming more apparent.
 
A report by UK’s Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) released on May 8 said that Indians working in the hospitality industry in the United Kingdom are at a potentially higher risk of becoming victims of modern-day slavery in the country.