Research and Projects

Disrupting the Human Trafficking Chain through a Follow-the-Money Approach

Starting date:
February 1st, 2021

Closing date:
February 1st, 2023

European funding: 555 544.00 euros. / 499 989.60

The project is funded by the European Commission under the Internal Security Fund – Police, Grant Agreement 823683. ISFP-2017-AG-RAD/823683

The dynamic nature of trafficking in human beings (THB) and the plurality and complexity of its forms make it notoriously difficult to investigate. Yet despite this complexity, it remains a heavily profit-driven crime that is profoundly difficult to operate without leaving a financial footprint. Exploiting this fact, UNCHAINED aims to

1) enhance the capacity of specialised officers and investigators operating within counter-trafficking, counter-organised crime, and financial investigation units to use financial enquiries & big-data analytics in suspected THB cases;

2)strengthen the capacity of private businesses and public authorities to identify suspicious financial activity and follow standardised reporting procedures for close cooperation with LEAs.


The training, reaching 120 beneficiaries in 3 pilot countries through train-the-trainers, and many more throughout the EU following project completion, fosters cross-border and cross-sector cooperation through multiplayer virtual reality serious gaming (VRSG), based on real-life case studies and business model trends elicited by the project’s own research. The project will further establish a European Expert and Trainers’ Network that promises to further the scope of the training long beyond project completion. The activities focus on cooperation, standardisation, and innovation in training methodologies and investigative techniques, based on a broader understanding of financial investigation, as defined by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as ‘an enquiry into the financial affairs related to a criminal activity, with a view to identifying the extent of criminal networks and/or the scale of criminality; identifying and tracing the proceeds of crime, terrorist funds or any other assets that are, or may become, subject to confiscation; and developing evidence which can be used in criminal proceedings.’


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