Power in numbers

News | 2/20/2020


While most football fans headed to Miami, Florida for the big game a few weeks ago, the dark side of one of the grandest sporting events of the year went on in the background.


According to a report by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, Florida ranks third nationwide in human trafficking cases, and Miami-Dade County is the biggest trafficking hub in the state. Human trafficking increases exponentially with the influx of people around large sporting events like the 2020 professional football championship game. And this year the game was held in one the biggest trafficking centers in the country.


Valley Bank understands how big a problem this is and took steps to fight human trafficking in all its forms.


Standing together for a cause

In late 2019, Valley joined a consortium consisting of financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and law enforcement agencies tasked with disrupting and dismantling human trafficking networks operating in the Miami Dade area.


“During the big game this year, we worked with other financial institutions to identify potential suspicious transactions related to human trafficking,” said Ira Robbins, Valley Bank’s President and CEO. “We’re proud to be a part of the ongoing fight to end human trafficking.”


Leading up to 2020’s game, special attention was paid to suspicious transactions in order to interrupt trafficker cash flow and track down potential traffickers. Valley worked with other financial institutions to identify these suspect dealings and help put a stop to this global issue.


The fight to end human trafficking

Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, men and children, through force, fraud or coercion, typically for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation. The United Nations states that it affects every country in the world. In the United States alone the Institute for Sport and Social Justice's "Shut Out Trafficking" program, reported there were 2,907 individuals arrested, suspected or charged with human trafficking activities in the United States in 2019.


“Being able to work with other financial institutions to identify financial transactions that are red flags for human trafficking was an incredible opportunity to help put an end to this horrifying industry,” remarked Jennifer Yager, Senior Vice President, Director of AML Compliance. “Making a difference in even one life is huge progress.”


How can you help?

If you’re wondering how you can make a difference, please visit www.polarisproject.org/how-to-help to see different ways to help.