Friday, June 18, 2010

Italian and Romanian authorities bust major human trafficking ring

BUCHAREST - Italian and Romanian authorities have dismantled a human trafficking network which sexually exploited more than 150 women including minors in the peninsula, police said Friday.

"There was a joint action in Italy and Romania today" to detain "procuring and human trafficking suspects", a statement from the Romanian police said.

Authorities detained 14 people in several regions of Romania in response to European warrants issued by a court in Milan. Police identified a 15th suspect already imprisoned in another affair.

In Italy, 26 people were also held Friday, an Italian liaison officer said in Bucharest.

Fifty-seven people, most of them Romanians, were involved in the network. Several Italians, an Albanian and an Egyptian were also part of the gang, the officer added.

According to authorities, the network had "recruited, transported and forced into prostitution" over 150 women in Monza, Milan and other Italian cities.

People detained in Romania will be brought before the Appeal court in Bucharest, which must decide on their arrest, a spokeswoman for the Romanian police told AFP.

© Copyright (c) AFP

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