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Case Reports From Africa

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
January 29, 2022 12:00 pm

Case Reports From Africa

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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January 29, 2022 12:00 pm

Mark and Ren share case reports from one of their foreign operating teams in Africa and explain why quick justice isn't necessarily a good thing.

Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) at 1-888-373-7888.

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William Wilberforce once said, Let it not be said I was silent when they needed me. This is Lantern Rescue. I know you'll be glad you tuned in today. We've got a sort of international report today with Lantern Rescue. So Mark, we've got stuff going on all over the world.

Rob, it's good to be with you again. I know for our listeners, we're not a every week podcast because we are busy, both stateside and internationally. And this year, honestly, as we head into 2022, you're going to get a little insight into how we are managing things from like a command center spot, where Wren does that, where I do that and others. And one of the ways that we've been able to something that we've been able to accomplish as an organization is that we have operators, both US and foreign operators, task forces that we've built now around the world.

And we've mentioned this before how exciting is to have something sustainable that these people are working without us there. Now, you know, as I talk, we've got American operators in two countries right now. But today's show, we're going to talk about an operating team that is in Africa and doing great work.

One of the ways that we control that is daily reporting and contacting. And I mean, if we're in the States, that involves video and FaceTiming and just, you know, it's just a complete conversation all the time. Wren and I wanted to take time in this show, and kind of give you an idea of some of the case reporting that we've gotten, particularly out of Africa, and even something that's just a hard situation that we're involved in.

Right now, our team is in Africa. And so she's going to share a little bit about that one. And we'll take the show from there. Okay, Robbie, but Wren, I'm just going to hand it over to you to talk about what Frank is involved in right now.

Yeah, sounds good. So the main place that we were talking about where there's kind of something tragic going on, what had happened in the last couple days is our team in Africa had intercepted this man trying to cross a girl at the border. And it was pretty apparent that there was some type of unusual relationship between these two.

And they started doing questioning and talking about, you know, warning signs and figuring out what the relationship was. And it turned out that she was being trafficked by this man. So the way their justice system works in this particular country is they go in front of a judge pretty quickly to get official charges filed. So today, when she was in getting the official charges filed, I guess technically it would be yesterday, because the time changed. But recently, when she was in charges filed in front of the judge, she was standing there testifying, and she had been so badly physically abused that she started to hemorrhage, bleed profusely and collapsed in the courtroom. And she's in medical services now, but the trial and the prosecution of this man will be going forward.

But there was quite an incident with that. And it just kind of shows like, obviously, sex trafficking is in itself a grotesque and horrible thing. And there's just no care. They truly do not care about these victims. There's no services provided for them. They're not taken care of.

They don't care whether they live or die. So that was really shown today. Wow. And so clearly, we can be praying for this poor person. Can you kind of share how you guys engage in that?

I can comment on that, and remind me too as well. But maybe it'd be good to take our listeners into that type of operation. So, yes, there are operations where we do operational planning, and we work at night, and there's undercover operations, and there's raids of nightclubs and more of a tactical move.

In this particular case of what Wren is describing, maybe we take our listeners into that situation. So we have a task force, a very large one, in that region of the world in Africa, and they are working portions of the border, and then high traffic areas between major cities. They will be moving in different directions to keep smugglers and traffickers from knowing exactly where we're going to be and what we're going to be doing.

I don't want to give away too much, but they're moving in different places. When they position themselves there for a day, this would be a typical border crossing. Well, if anybody's traveled and they've seen border crossings, you can imagine the chaos and all that's happening there. And what our task force agents are trained to do is sometimes they lay low, sometimes they're uniformed, sometimes they're back from the border on either side, sometimes they're right at the point of crossing, but they are looking for the suspicious activity of someone who is carrying a minor across. And most often in these countries, that's in a vehicle, like a motorcycle, and many times on foot.

And maybe as Wren has described some other cases in the past about this region of the world, sometimes those smugglers are working for a trafficker and they know they're going to get caught, so they'll tell the victim, the child, hey, say this or go across by yourself or tell them I'm your father or say that I'm your aunt, you know, all these kind of excuses and they prepare their story. So our task force agents are looking for this and they're working hard. They're not sitting in a nice office.

They're working along streets and they're working outside in the heat. And then when they see that they're trained to intercept that vehicle safely. And that does take some tactical skill and they set up. The real skill that happens from there is the interrogation process.

And so our key people there do a great job and we're constantly helping them improve that. But they have to separate those people and begin the interrogation process between the adults and the minors. They've got to be savvy because they've got to speak multiple languages. They've got to know the region of the world. They've got to know what's happening in major cities around them. They've got to be able to make phone calls into those regions to confirm. They've got to be able to take cell phones from people. They've got to be able to look through those cell phones.

They've got to be able to make calls and act like somebody else. They've got to do all this because sometimes at this point the victim is so scared to death they are lying almost perfectly. Does that make sense, Robby?

Yeah. Okay, so they're lying because they're scared to death or they believe they're a smuggler and trafficker. They believe they are going to a job or an education or school when that's all not true. And so in that moment our involvement is to determine the truth and then to build the case and referral to our law enforcement that we've trained there and to a department that works with us, an agency that works with us along that region of the world. So that's kind of our involvement. Now, with this particular case that Ren is talking about, then our people are the good and loving people. I mean, they get involved on everything. They end up, for Americans who understand social services and all those things, we end up helping the victim get to court.

Sometimes we provide for their needs and assist the social services in that country during this time of investigation. And so that's kind of how that operation in this case that we're talking about this morning, that's how that works. So, Robby, it kind of gives people an idea, you know, when we talk about next week when we'll be able to talk about some operations elsewhere that are current, you know, they're more aggressive.

Well, I don't know if it works more aggressive. They're just, you know, more, they're more tactical in nature and they involve a gear and a lot of things. This involves human intelligence. This involves people who are in the right place at the right time with the right knowledge and the right ability to intercept and to interrogate. And, you know, that is a fruitful work. Literally every region of the world we go to, we can go to any place and outside of working the trafficking rings that are in the capitals or the trafficking rings that are tied to, you know, foreigners, you could go to the border.

And I can almost guarantee you that you're going to get a high rate of interception and rescue because that's just a focal point. That's just that's just what's happening around the world, you know. Right. As they're crossing, you've got agents that are obviously trained to look for this and then respond in the in the situation. And then they have the connections in law enforcement, obviously, like you were just talking about in this case. I mean, the judge was involved almost immediately, right? Yeah, and that's a lot different than justice in other places in the world. So that particular country, their prosecution moves really fast.

And it's arguable whether that's a good thing or not. But yeah, they got that involved very quickly. And the main difference between our operation in a place like Africa and our operations in other places like in Asia is Africa's reactionary team. They're responding to basically what comes to them and what they're observing from their posts and other places like our operation in Asia is more of a proactive team. They're like going out and doing investigations in different areas.

And they're more of a mobile team moving throughout the entire country that they're working in where this team is more static in this particular area. All right. So we got more coming up in just a minute with our international reports sort of an update. Well, we get a chance to speak with with Ren and Mark.

We'll be right back. Lantern Rescue is a USA based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Lantern specializes in sending former U.S. special operation law enforcement and intelligence personnel to partner with host nations and assist them in creating specialized units to combat ongoing security problems such as genocide, terrorism and human trafficking.

As a nonprofit charity, they offer services free of charge to their host nations. Human trafficking has grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world, reaching an estimated 150 billion dollars in annual activity. Lantern Rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Lantern operates through a trained international network in order to rescue women and children from sex and labor slavery and facilitates holistic aftercare services.

They're gearing up for operations right now and you can go to lanternrescue.org to see how you can support them financially. The following program contains sensitive content, including accounts of sexual abuse and suicide. Listener discretion is advised.

Welcome back to Lantern Rescue and today's international report. And, you know, as we were talking about what's going on in Africa, Ren, the whole idea of, you know, quick justice and judgment and those kind of things. There's there's two sides of that coin, right?

Absolutely. So a lot of people get frustrated when justice takes kind of a while. And especially in America, a lot of people know, you know, court cases can take years, criminal cases can take years to get through the justice system, especially depending on how complex it is. And while that is frustrating, there's a flip side where very quick justice isn't necessarily a good thing.

You have to think of it from an investigatory perspective and a replication perspective. It's like when you were a kid, and someone was trying to show you something, and they did it really quick and you're like, well, how did you do that? And they're like, Oh, you just do it. And they skip all these steps because they've done it so much. And you never learn. You're like, you're going through fast, I can't tell what you're doing.

It's kind of similar. So when people are prosecuting so quickly, you know, there's convictions that only take from arrest to conviction is within 48 hours, sometimes 24 hours in this particular country. And the problem with that is, then when the next team comes on, or a new person comes on the team, and they want to look through case files, and they want to look, you know, talk about this prosecution, talk about the investigation, they're like, well, we arrested him, and then the judge said he was guilty, and that was it. But why, you know, show me, show me the reasons, show me how you knew, show me, and you can't necessarily so and that's also an issue with reporting to international organizations and international agencies that handle reporting like the trafficking in persons report and other agencies that are that are dealing with international justice and human trafficking, it's hard to explain to them why you convicted. And then it makes it more difficult for people to follow your footsteps and figure out, okay, well, this person, these are the warning signs that you picked up on it. And your victim told you this before trial, and that's how you figured it out. So that's one one reason that swift justice isn't necessarily a good thing. Another reason is, you know, plea deals and people turning on other people within their ring and making a deal based on information they'll give on other people is, is obviously a thing in criminal justice.

And it's, it can be very beneficial, because sometimes, we're catching a trafficker at the border that this might be his first or second time trafficking someone, but he's working for this enormous brain. Now, if you're convincing him within a day, he has no incentive to flip on his bar. You know, you're okay, well, I don't have an option. There's nothing that turning on my boss is going to do I'm still getting convicted tomorrow.

So, you know, I might as well stay loyal. Now, if you drag out the investigation a little bit longer, and you're putting pressure on them, you're more likely to be able to get them to cooperate with you, you can start to be a little bit more effective. You can start to break apart these chains at a higher level rather than just getting the low level guys so quickly into prison, which they'll end up there. No one's going to walk free, don't get me wrong, but the sentences might be different based on their level of cooperation. But if you're not willing to communicate with them or have a longer investigation, there's no opportunity for them to cooperate.

So you're not able to get to these higher level guys, because there's there's no incentive for them to rot on them. There's a valid point that we see in every single country that they rush to make a conviction. And sometimes we're like, Whoa, wait, wait, wait, wait, there's there's bigger fish, but they just want to close it up, close the case, and say, Hey, we had success. And Ren just made a tremendously valid point in the intelligence gathering of, you know, after the smugglers captured and what we can do and what we can find out that sometimes we don't get to because they just want to prosecute that person as fast as they can.

Right. And these countries that prosecute quickly, they're not doing it necessarily maliciously, although an argument can be made that they want to, they want to convict the traffickers and send them away quickly, because maybe someone higher up is involved in that ring, and they don't want that to get the server through an investigation. Generally, you know, that is one reason that it could be going quickly. Another reason that's more common in third world countries is they live day to day, they live with what's immediately in front of their face. And they're just trying to figure out how to survive each day. A lot of them don't have that longer term vision of what that investigation could look like, because they don't have that luxury that we do in the United States where we can sit back and think about things, they have to move quickly because they don't know if tomorrow is coming or what it's going to look like. And that's not something that they're consciously thinking about when they're doing these investigations, but it's more of like an innate thing that they've grown up around. So they're unaware that they're doing it, but they're kind of acting in this very quick, reactionary mindset instead of sitting back thinking it through, and trying to investigate further. So it can, you know, there's probably multiple reasons that these prosecutions go so quickly.

Those are just two off the top of my head. But it's not necessarily well, people always ask us, you know, don't you just want to kill them? You know, as soon as you see a trafficker, they should be in jail, they should be killed, whatever.

And I get the sentiment, trust us, we've seen some really horrific stuff, and we felt the same way in the past. But the bigger picture and the more people you can help through these more lengthy investigations is what you have to try to stay focused on. Yeah, and I, you know, what a wonderful thing that God's provided this experience to all these different countries, because, you know, they turned you for training. And so obviously, you're not just having an opportunity to train the operatives, but, you know, with your legal stuff now, and you're able to give them, you know, information in their justice system, right? Yeah, we've helped to work with some penal codes in other countries.

And we're ideally going to be providing some training to some attorney general prosecutors over the summer. But, you know, it's all just guidance, it's up to the countries, they have to make those choices, and they have to make those policy changes. And it's all just guidance and our perspective on it. But we definitely do try to influence it for the good. But at the end of the day, one of the reasons it suffers apart from other nonprofits is, we're just giving the countries and the people the tools to help themselves. At the end of the day, we can't do it for them. They have to buy in and make that choice on their own. So we do advise and we give them the tools to do this and the reasons why we think this is a good alternative. But at the end of the day, it's up to them. Yeah, and the good news is we can pray along those lines, that these countries will adopt this wisdom and that what an opportunity that it is for us to obviously see all the all the fruit of that.

So have you got some more updates for us, Mark? I think, following up with what Wren was just talking about, the flip side is that we do have some countries whose criminal justice system is, it is a duplication of the US or further, you know, down the road. But then sometimes we have the flip side problem is that they're trying to do everything so right and so correct that things do not move, prosecution doesn't move forward.

Or, you know, it lends itself to corruption because things are moving so slow. You know, we recently had in one country, we had 17 girls, foreign girls in a Spanish country in a house that was being represented as for sale. And one of our undercover agents went to that house, presented himself as a buyer of the home, went in, discovered these females, these young females in the home, heard one of them said, say, I hope when he buys the house, he buys us too. And so he realized immediately, okay, wait, this is a holding place for girls who are trafficked. So, you know, he, he built the case and presented it to the prosecutor, the local prosecutor, who continued to say, well, I need this, I need that, you know, continued to nitpick what he needed to bring at a level that allowed her to contact the owner of the home and say, hey, they're building a case against this, you better get rid of those girls. So that delay in prosecution or the ability for them to say, well, no, you don't have enough for us, you don't have enough for us, it really slowed it all down.

And then the 17 girls disappeared and the house was, you know, just basically closed down. Right. So, you know, there are those things. Also, when you get into a country that has, you know, laws in place and it's penal code, things like entrapment become an issue, sovereignty becomes an issue, the transfer of information. You know, when it comes to entrapment, this is one we run into all the time in countries that have a better judicial system. And I understand it, but we did have one situation where, uh, we were, had a team undercover and they were, they knew there were minor girls for sale in this facility and they were being offered girls, but one of the undercover agents said, well, do you have any minor girls? Well, at that point, that whole, that whole case is thrown out because now he introduced the need for minors and that would be considered entrapment. He rather would have to say, no, I don't want any of these girls. I can get that in America.

What else do you have? And then the moment the trafficker says, oh, I've got some young girls, minor girls. Now, now it's, now it's been introduced and it's not entrapment. So, you know, you have the, you have those kind of, um, situations and, and what I admire of my team and all of us is we're trying to understand all countries at all levels, their judicial system and how it's working and what we can and can't do, you know? And so I know this is Christian talk and people probably listen in today. They're going, whoa, is this on the wrong station? Excuse me. But it is really important that, uh, those who are concerned about that, they hear this show and understand the spectrum that we're working in.

And one of the things that you, you made a comment to me the other day when we were talking, Mark, was that you don't want to create a need where these people, you know, they'll go out and find what you asked for in those kinds of situations. So actually some of those laws are pretty good. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

If you're selling heroin, you know, and somebody comes up and says, I don't want heroin, I want crack and you don't have it, you'll find it. Right. So I mean, we're very careful that we don't ever do that. You know, we, we have to have the right intelligence. We're not going to just poke in an area and go, Hey, you know, can we have some minor girls? Cause trust me, that smuggler, he will go get minor girls.

I mean, he'll probably get his niece and his cousins and, and, and grab some girls from who knows where. And now you've created the problem. And I've seen some organizations do that to a fault, you know, and they, they shouldn't do that. So we don't do that. And, uh, you know, that just comes down to good undercover work and good intelligence. So Ren, your, your thoughts on that?

Yeah. I mean, really what I would just finish that up with is the laws in other country are different and we're not saying that any are better or worse than ours. Um, entrapment might mean something different in another country.

You know, when we start working with other law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, I ask them for an English copy of their rules of criminal procedure and rules of evidence. And then any penal codes they have that are relevant to our work. So we're, you know, the laws in other countries are different and prosecutions look different in other countries. Jails are very different in other countries.

And we're not saying any are better or worse, but it is another dynamic of the work that we're in. It's not only are we trying to train them tactically and we're trying to facilitate the act right here, we're trying to help with this prosecutorial process. We're trying to do it correctly from their point of view, not just bringing our American point. Well, this is how it works in America.

Do it this way. We're trying to understand their laws, understand their rules, understand their culture and help them out that way without causing a detriment like Mark was talking about. And so that's, that's really all I would add to that. Yeah. I was actually, as I was praying about all this last night, Mark, I was thinking, how amazing is it from my perspective that, that you guys were able to do so much the right way that you were, to create a legal way to get people from one place to another place to, to create a legal way for people to get caught.

And then obviously, you know, create a situation where you go after the bigger fish on an international level on all sorts of things. Yeah. I mean, God continues to put that team together.

It always fascinates me that He cares so much about those who are oppressed and those victims and those girls and boys, that He would take a group of people such as us and, you know, we'd all probably say we're hodgepodge here and there, you know, good at a lot of things, not great at any one thing, and God would put us all together and continue to add the right people and continue to expand even us as individuals, you know, and it is definitely a God thing. Yeah. So do you have sort of a finishing update for us as we only have a couple minutes left?

Yeah. I mean, I'll allude to, we've got some fantastic shows coming up next week. We're participating, Lantern is participating in a coalition of some really key players around the world in this fight to counter trafficking, and we're honored to be invited to a table to create this coalition. And out of that, we're going to have some great conversations with different folks that we're going to include on the show and tell you a little bit about some really good stuff that's happening in America and then how that will be supporting us overseas and how excited we are about that. So I tell you what, I think the next, you know, we might do a couple of shows next week out of that, so I think the next three or four shows, I just encourage our listeners, if you don't have our podcast, follow our podcast, tell us about it, and keep supporting us. Yeah, there are intense, intense prayer needs as we're hearing more and more about what's going on.

2022 really seems to be a year that we need to be praying, right guys? Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you again for this update, and we'll look forward to all this coming. Thanks. Thanks, Robbie. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-15 23:30:19 / 2023-06-15 23:41:24 / 11

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