Monday, December 03, 2007

Large International Sex Trafficking Ring Broken Up in Greece

Received a notice today about this break in Greece:
Greek police on Thursday said they had broken a major European sex trafficking network by arresting 30 people in Athens and Salonika after tracking the group's activities for nearly a year. In a swoop operation code-named New Life carried out with Interpol and Europol assistance, police on Wednesday night arrested seven men and two women suspected of working for the trafficking ring. Another 21 people were arrested during raids on stripclubs, bars and brothels for breaking laws on prostitution, which is strictly controlled here.

Police also freed two Russian women anda Romanian woman held captive by the traffickers. They are still seeking another 15 Greeks, four Russians, three Germans and a Turk believed to be part of the network.

The traffickers lured Eastern European women into prostitution through bogus job-hunting agencies and travel agencies they ran in Moldova, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, the Greek police department said in a statement.The women were furnished with fake Lithuanian passports and sent to Austria, Britain, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, depending on local demand, the police said.(AFP)
IHT also added:
About 200 police officers raided houses and businesses in Athens and Thessaloniki in an operation overseen by the international police organizations Europol and Interpol. Thirty suspects were arrested — nine gang members and 21 associates, police said...

Police said in a statement that the police action had "broken up one of the biggest criminal gangs active in the sexual exploitation of immigrant women in our country." The gang operated in at least four European Union countries as well as several nations outside the EU.

The raid, which had been planned for a year, targeted 15 apartments, offices and other properties in the two cities. Police confiscated five cars used for transporting women along with mobile telephones, cash and around two dozen passports.
This is important news, especially as the response to human trafficking by the Greek government attracted criticism from international groups like Human Rights Watch in the recent past. According to IOM Mission statistics, Greece is among the higher destinations of Ukrainian victims of trafficking.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:04 AM