From the Tiraspol Times:
April 22nd, 2008, NORWICH - A group of Moldovan women who were forced into prostitution have been freed in raids across London and Surrey, in the United Kingdom.
The raids, which took place over the past three days, uncovered a Moldovan-linked network of brothels and human trafficking which so far has led to the arrest of 15 people. They are suspected of being involved in an international criminal network managing people trafficking and prostitution, the Norwich Evening Post reports.
Moldova, Europe's poorest country, is the continent's leading supplier of underage girls for sexual exploitation. Human trafficking rings operate with impunity in Moldova, where they are for the most part under government protection and where a number of local government officials are involved as participants behind the rings. Due to a climate of impunity, no government officials have ever been charged with human trafficking and prostitution offenses in Moldova.
"This major operation successfully disrupted a long standing organized criminal network. Human trafficking is simply modern day slavery and, as we've discovered, it is happening in this county," said British Detective Chief Inspector Christine Wilson, head of Norfolk's Vulnerable People Directorate. In the investigation into the gangs involved in human trafficking, British police received no cooperation of any kind from Moldova's authorities.
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Related: Corruption breaks new records in Moldova
By Karen Ryan
April 25, 2008 CHISINAU- Being in charge of Moldova's government is a lucrative business, as long as you can still get money from the people who are left in the country. A large percentage of Moldova's working-age population has already gone abroad, but those who remain in the country are targeted for bribes like never before.
The country's government has been listed as Europe's most corrupt in a number of international studies, and the latest to weigh in is Transparency International with a fresh survey released this week. According to the poll, which was conducted on a sample of 1105 people in Moldova between 23 February and 10 March 2008, incidents of corruption now breaks new records in Moldova.
The polls excluded nearby Transdniestria (Pridnestrovie), which has 'de facto' not been a functioning part of Moldova since 1990.
Corruption is one of Moldova's main problems, Transparency International Director Lilia Carasciuc said at a 22 April press conference in Chisinau. Over 80% of Moldovans think that corruption is holding back the development of their country. "
- According to the survey, people place corruption as third among the problems they meet, it following only poverty and unemployment. The business people also feel that, and place this phenomenon as second after great taxes," says Lilia Carasciuc.
Over 76% of the Moldovans are prepared to pay a bribe, Basa Press reports. The percentage is higher when reported to the business people: over 81%.
According to the survey, Moldovans pay bribes in 80.7% of the cases when they try to get visas to leave their country. Many need visas to be able to work abroad. Among the lucky ones who manage to get out, most show no inclination of ever wanting to return.
Crossing the border in and out of Moldova, crooked customs officers demand their baksheesh 57.2 % of the time. And if that wasn't enough, once you are inside Moldova you will be forced to cough up even more cash: In dealing with police, bribes are required in 51.2% of all cases.
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