Amber Rudd has promised a "co-ordinated push" to flush out human trafficking gangs
Writing exclusively for the Daily Express she says the crime cartels bringing vulnerable people into Britain illegally have “nowhere to hide”.
Her comments come as new figures show trafficking victims in the UK now originate from 108 countries.
The scale of the crisis has seen a new £1 million unit set up to tackle the scourge of modern slavery and trafficking.
Our message to the perpetrators is clear; we are coming after you, and there is nowhere to hide
Ms Rudd said: “It is exactly this kind of co-operation between the police, Border Force, the National Crime Agency and others that will be our way at getting at the people traffickers.
"The centre will enable us to have a co-ordinated push against the organised crime groups that are at the heart of the trade in human beings and human misery.
"Our message to the perpetrators is clear; we are coming after you, and there is nowhere to hide.”
A "Mr Big" who helped smuggle 87 illegal immigrants into the UK was jailed for ten years
Yesterday a “Mr Big” who helped smuggle 87 illegal immigrants into the UK was jailed for ten years.
Bodybuilder Mohammed Sangak, also known as Rameo Mohammed, was described as the driving force behind seven cross-Channel trips, which saw migrants – including women and children – from China, Kurdistan, Vietnam, Iran and Iraq hidden in van loads of tyres, furniture and mattresses.
The 30-year-old Iraqi Kurd asylum seeker from Chatham, Kent, who arrived in the UK alone at the age of 14 pleaded guilty at a hearing last year to conspiracy to facilitate breaches of UK immigration law and was also convicted of insurance fraud.
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Judge Philip St. John-Stevens said that individuals trafficked into this country may be vulnerable
Sentencing Sangak at Maidstone Crown Court Judge Philip St.John-Stevens said: “It is clear to everyone that individuals trafficked into this country may well be, and often are, vulnerable and can be preyed upon by criminal organisations.
"Often the way they are conveyed into this country is fraught with danger, hidden behind cover loads that in itself is a dangerous enterprise.
"In addition to the position of vulnerability of the individual is the issue of national security.”
There is also the issue of national security
The court heard how 15 refugees, including three children, were discovered secreted in a void among a pile of mattresses after border control officers at the Channel Tunnel spotted condensation on a van roof.
Others were found as they were smuggled through Dover Docks in Kent.
National Crime Agency figures show 3,805 potential victims from 108 different countries were referred for help last year.
Many have also been exploited within Britain with the UK the third most common country of origin.
Ms Rudd said: “In this country alone, there are thousands of poor souls being exploited and abused.
"Many of them will have come here on the promise of a better life; those hopes will have been crushed.”