A SUSPECTED seven out of 15 bosses of an international criminal gang known to traffic in women have found themselves in police custody in Slovakia, police second-in-command, Jaroslav Spišiak, told the news wire TASR.
The group organised auditions in search of hostesses through an agency that promised young women easy money and free travel all around the world. But in the end, they were forced into providing sexual services.
The group rounded up at least 230 young women in this manner, and then hired cosmeticians and photographers to compose promotional materials for them .
The women were later told, under threat of having to pay at least Sk50,000 (€1,253) for the cosmeticians and photographers, that providing sexual services was part of the deal.
According to Spišiak, the group has been operating near Bratislava and Nitra since 2000 and are involved with some well-known photographers and image-makers.
The girls were offered to clients on the Internet in Hungary, Austria, Italy, Greece, Japan, the US, Switzerland, Denmark, Great Britain and other countries. The gang had accomplices in the Czech Republic, where, in cooperation with the Slovak Police, 10 people were arrested. Police estimate that the gang was raking in at least Sk10 million (€250,000) a month through their activities.
28. Jun 2004 at 0:00 | From press reports