FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 21, 2017
* * MEDIA ADVISORY * *
Operation Underground Railroad partnered with Haiti’s Minor Protection Brigade in undercover sting, arresting 9 traffickers
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) announced that the group, partnering with Haiti’s Minor Protection Brigade (BPM) and Haitian authorities, has successfully completed Operation Sainte Jou (Holy Day), an undercover rescue mission that resulted in the arrest of 9 traffickers and rescue of 29 girls suspected to be sex trafficking victims. O.U.R. went to Haiti at the invitation of BPM and acted under legal authority of the Haitian government. O.U.R. spent two months, alongside Haitian officials, developing this investigation, meeting with the traffickers, and setting up the operation to ensure the safety of the victims and jump team.
“This counts as one of our most successful operations to date. More than two dozen girls are now liberated, and with our continued support, do not have to return to a life where they are victims of the most depraved and evil in society. We hope to continue partnering with Haitian authorities to share and learn new investigation techniques and technology to ensure that pedophiles who prey upon the young have no place visiting Haiti. We are impressed with the Haitian government’s desire to do the right thing. O.U.R. remains committed to doing all it can to empower law enforcement in the U.S. and around the world to fight horrendous crimes of child exploitation and trafficking, ”said Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard.
O.U.R. has built a rehabilitation groundwork with the government and local partners to ensure victims can return to their parents where possible or into vetted safe houses where not. The local aftercare experts met with the girls directly after the operation and were able to meet with many of their parents to provide them with anti-human trafficking awareness and sensitivity training. O.U.R.’s work continues around the world. Since it was founded in 2013, Operation Underground Railroad has rescued 641 victims and arrested 273 traffickers.
About Operation Underground Railroad: O.U.R. is a non-profit organization that rescues children from slavery. O.U.R. rescue teams are comprised of highly skilled ex-Navy SEALs, Special Forces, CIA and other operatives. O.U.R.’s work has gained international media coverage on CBS Evening News, ABC Nightly News, Fox News Sunday, PBS Religion and Ethics, The Washington Post, The New York Postand The Blaze among others.