Hellenic Police announce dismantling of international sex-trafficking ring operating in Athens

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The Hellenic Police on Saturday announced the dismantling of an international criminal ring made up of two interlocking and cooperating criminal organisations involved in the sex trafficking of women, mainly from Latin America, and in laundering the proceeds from their illegal activity.

The victims were found and members of the criminal gangs arrested through a coordinated police operation code-named Amaryllis that was carried out on Friday in various parts of Attica and Thessaloniki.

Vital assistance in the operation was given by Interpol, the national police force of Spain, the U.S. Homeland Security Service via the U.S. Embassy in Athens and the non-governmental organisations "Our Greece" and "A21".

A total of 22 people were placed under arrest, of which 11 are suspected members of the criminal organisation and the rest were staff at brothels.

During the operation, 51 female trafficking victims were rescued, of which 48 were from Colombia, two from Venezuela and one from Albania.

The suspects will face various charges that include those of forming a criminal organisation, human trafficking, breaking the seals placed by the authority for the prevention and suppression of criminal activity and the financing of terrorism, violating data privacy protection laws, drugs and weapons law violations.

In addition to those in custody, four members of the international ring that are still at large will also be charged.

According to the police, the ring members tricked women into coming to Greece with false promises of high-paying work in good conditions and then used threats and demeaning behaviour to force the women to work daily as prostitutes, even when they were unwell, taking most of the money they earned.

These activities generated an estimated 160,000 euros a month in profits, which were laundered through three companies set up to hide the money being spent.

The victims of the criminal network have been taken to shelters for support and protection until they can be repatriated, as per their own request. The suspects will be led before a public prosecutor to be charged and an investigation with the assistance of authorities abroad will continue.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024