Pimps using Belfast to smuggle prostitutes into the UK and Ireland are on the target list for a special police team unveiled today.
For the first time, PSNI officers will be involved in a UK-wide campaign to combat human trafficking.
A previous operation from Great Britain has been expanded to search for people smugglers in Northern Ireland because of a rise in prostitution here and suspicons that the region is becoming a transit point for human cargo.
Women smuggled for prostitution are bought and sold for between £2,000 and £3,000, according to Government research.
Thousands of women are believed to have been brought into the UK by human smugglers, and there is also evidence that hundreds of children have been trafficked.
Security Minister Paul Goggins said today that there is no "firm evidence" that human trafficking is happening in Northern Ireland. Records show only one person has been charged with trafficking offences here and that charge was later dropped.
But last year a House of Commons committee reported that the region is being used as "a back door" to smuggle people into other parts of the UK and the Republic.
Officials are concerned that problem could get worse, with traffickers taking advantage of the increase in direct flights between Belfast and Eastern Europe.
The House of Commons report also linked a rise in prostitution in Northern Ireland to the importation of human flesh.
Mr Goggins said the new PSNI team has been created so Northern Ireland can play "our full role" in the UK crackdown known as Pentameter 2.
"Whilst as yet there is no firm evidence that human trafficking is taking place in Northern Ireland we are adopting a proactive approach," he said.
"Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery where individuals and criminal networks seek to profit from the brutality, misery and suffering they cause to others.
"It is a type of serious organised crime which the Government is determined to stamp out."
The PSNI team will work with other agencies in the Organised Crime Task Force, which Mr Goggins chairs.
"Pentameter 2 is designed to both rescue victims of human trafficking and to prosecute those that take part," he said.
"Our approach will be sensitive to the needs of victims and they will be treated with care and consideration - our role is to help them and end their suffering.
"I would emphasise that everyone has a role to play in our work and if anyone has grounds for concern they should report this to the police".
The original Pentameter campaign, which did not include Northern Ireland, discovered 88 victims of human trafficking last year and led to 134 criminal charges.