ATHENS – A joint investigation by Greek and Spanish police, United States Homeland Security and Europol has led to busting open a ring of criminals trafficking women for sex although brothels are allowed but regulated with conditions.
The operation was set to been active since 2014 but now dismantled after 10 suspects were arrested, six accusing of human trafficking – five of them Greek – and one a Venezuelan.
The remaining four arrested suspects worked at the onsite locations in which the victims were exploited. The leader is accused of trafficking in human beings and money laundering but none were named.
Three other members of the criminal organization (two Greeks and an Albania) are fugitives also accused of trafficking in human beings. They are believed to still be in Greece.
During the operational actions, Greek authorities safeguarded 10 victims of sexual exploitation in Athens, seven of them Venezuelan nationals recruited there and lured to Greece to provide sexual services.
The criminal network placed the victims in apartments and exploited them at other locations in the center of Athens in an operation that was running for nine years, no details given what led to raids that led to arrests.
Profits were laundered via real estate acquisitions and investments. Europol supported the operational activities, facilitated the exchange of information and provided analytical support.