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Dumais Hopes New Version of Bill Will Make Human Trafficking Less Lucrative

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January 30, 2013

For the past four years Delegate Kathleen Dumais, D-Rockville, has introduced legislation related to human trafficking. Her current proposed bill is focused on seizing the assets of those convicted of human trafficking. Although she is vice-chair of the House Judiciary Committee, the past versions of this bill have died in the Committee.

If the asset forfeiture bill passes this year, it will use profits gained from human trafficking activities to establish an "Anti-Human Trafficking Fund." The proceeds from the assets will be split-50% will go towards non-profits and organizations that provide victim services and the remainder will fund training and programs for law enforcement.

But what are the bills' chances in this session of the Maryland General Assembly? Sheilah speaks with Del. Dumais about the bill's changes, it's supporters, and it's critics.

Then, we hear from Kush Arora, a defense attorney with the firm Price Benowitz, LLP. Arora represents human trafficking and drug trafficking defendants. Arora says when it comes to asset forfeiture, enough "checks and balances" are not in place to confirm that assets were indeed purchased from the profits gained by human trafficking activities, and not from unrelated money.

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