SEVEN people suspected of being among the 15 bosses of an international gang trafficking in women have found themselves in custody in Slovakia, Jaroslav Spisiak, Police force second-in-command, told the news wire TASR.
The group organised castings through an agency that promised young women easy money and free travel all around the world as hostesses. In the end, the women were forced to provide sexual services.
The group rounded up at least 230 young women, and then hired cosmeticians and photographers to do their promotional materials.
Later the women were told, under threat of having to pay at least Sk50,000 (€1,251) for cosmeticians and photographers, that providing sexual services was part of the deal.
According to Spisiak, the group had been operating near Bratislava and Nitra since 2000 and also involved well-known photographers and image-makers.
The girls were offered on the internet to clients in Hungary, Austria, Italy, Greece, Japan, the USA, Switzerland, Denmark, and Great Britain, among other countries.
The gang had accomplices in the Czech Republic, where 10 more suspected gang members were arrested in cooperation with the Slovak police.
Police estimate that the gang earned at least Sk10 million (€250,000) a month through its activities.
Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Jun 2004 at 9:58