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Central Texans headed to Poland-Ukraine border to stop human trafficking

Unbound Now is helping prevent trafficking and also spreading awareness. Det. Joseph Scaramucci will train local law enforcement how to patrol and prevent the crime.

WACO, Texas — As the crisis in Ukraine continues to unfold, an estimated 3.8 million refugees have fled the country seeking safety and security, that's according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Now, authorities and organizations are worried about trafficking and some Central Texans are stepping in to help.

Unbound Now, based in Waco, is a non-profit that provides prevention and awareness about human trafficking.

Susan Peters is the global director of Unbound Now and for the last couple days, she's seen thousands of refugees fleeing for safety and security.

"There's food, there's free SIM cards, there are buses that take them to refugee centers that they can stay for up to two weeks until they get connected to a long term placement," Peters explained.

Peters says it's a sobering situation and unfortunately there are people taking advantage of it.

"Traffickers and predators that are posing as being helpful that only lured them into human trafficking," Peters said.

That's why the non-profit Unbound Now is on the ground. They're trying to help prevent human trafficking and also spread awareness.

Those in Poland, and along the border, are wearing vests that say "anti-trafficking" on them as they pass out cards that provide information to people on how to travel safely.

This isn't their first time doing this work; they've also been in Syria and along the Mongolian borders.

But, the non-profit now needs help and they're getting it from the lead detective of the McLennan County Sheriff's Office Human Trafficking Unit, Joseph Scaramucci.

"The needs there it's been expressed by their law enforcement," Scaramucci said. "They don't have a ton of history surrounding human trafficking, investigations and knowledge about what it is."

Scaramucci will soon be headed to Poland to train law enforcement there on what human trafficking is and what to do about it. He says their criminal law for human trafficking is very similar to America's.

"The reality is until boots are on the ground, so to speak, putting a stop to something it's continuing," he explained.

Scaramucci, Peters and others from Unbound Waco are fighting to make sure the 3.8 million refugees and counting, don't survive the war only to become targets for trafficking.

If you would like to help them on their mission, you can donate here. The money goes towards helping travel costs, relocation and also buys supplies that Ukrainian refugees are needing and requesting.

Scaramucci is also collecting first aid kits and trauma kits for those fighting the war, and also refugees. He tells 6 News that his connections over seas have told him that's the biggest need as they are more than a month into this battle.

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