Children brought to UK for benefit fraud

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The Independent Online

Babies and young children are being smuggled into Britain by foreign criminals and used to make fraudulent benefits claims.

Forged immigration documents and employment records are used in the multi-million pound scam. In many cases the children are taken from families with the knowledge of their parents. They are placed with unrelated adults to enable fake benefit claims to be paid into accounts controlled by the traffickers.

A team set up to investigate the problem in London has identified 119 potential victims of child smuggling in the capital. Operation Golf is a Metropolitan Police investigation into a Romanian crime network believed to control a human trafficking ring. Earlier this month, four suspected child victims of trafficking from Romania were taken into foster care as part of a Metropolitan Police swoop. More than 20 homes in Westminster, Enfield, Haringey and Redbridge were visited and evidence of benefit crime worth £100,000 was found.