October 18, 2012 - 12:00 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The number of people being trafficked into the UK is rising, latest government estimates suggest, according to BBC News.
Last year the authorities learned of 946 victims, compared with 710 in 2010, the inter-departmental ministerial group on human trafficking said.
Crime gangs in China, Vietnam, Nigeria and eastern Europe now pose the biggest threat to the UK on the issue, it said.
The government said better coordination between its departments and with authorities abroad was key.
There is currently no official figure for the number of victims trafficked into the country each year. However, the group's report said that last year 712 adult victims and 234 child victims were reported to the National Referral Mechanism, the official body that identifies and looks after those caught up in trafficking.
Of the victims referred in 2010, 524 were adults and 186 were children.
It is thought the increase could be explained by improvements in identifying victims, although campaigners say the figures of those being trafficked could be far higher as many victims choose not to come forward for fear of being sent back to where they came from.
The report detailed two cases of people being trafficked for illegal organ removals but they were detected and stopped before the operations were carried out. One involved the planned sale of a victim's kidneys.
The report also said there had been an increase in the number of children being forced into crime, including street begging. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre estimates there are about 300 child trafficking victims in the UK every year.
Det Insp Kevin Hyland, of London's Metropolitan Police - which sees the UK's highest rates of trafficking - said some victims travelled to the UK in lorries or containers but the majority arrived lawfully, often accompanied by their traffickers.
"The vast majority of them think they're coming to a better life in the UK," he said.
Once in the UK they are "moved on to the exploiters" to be used for sexual exploitation or forced labor, or both, he added.