Polish consuls dismissed amid allegations of human trafficking
A spokesman for Poland’s foreign ministry has apologised for the “shameful behaviour of several consuls”, after it emerged they had been involved with issuing women with visas so that they could be trafficked for sexual exploitation in Germany.
The Polish consulate, located in the Ukrainian city of Lutsk, came under investigation from Polish-Ukrainian law enforcement agencies at the end of 2011, when information emerged about a criminal cell trafficking women out of the Ukraine.
The investigation discovered that the women were being issued with Schengen visas for which they would otherwise have been ineligible, to aid their transportation across Europe.
As a result all employees of the Polish consultate in Lutsk, together with the consul-general, have been dismissed.
Ostensibly the Polish government appears committed to tackling the problem of human trafficking; a revision to the counter-trafficking laws was implemented in 2010, designed to ease application, understanding and coverage.
In addition, foundation level training for border guard officers and a more specialised intensive programme for the national police force continues to be implemented nationwide.
Nonetheless, this is not the first time that Polish law enforcement officials have been accused of involvement in human trafficking.
Despite numerous claims of corruption against border control officials and police officers, the Polish government has not reported any conviction against a public official for human trafficking-related offences to date.