A prostitute is waiting for a customer. Illustrative photo.
Brussels – Czech, Finnish and Hungarian authorities managed to break up a criminal network suspected of operating international prostitution. The victims, mostly from the Czech Republic, were transported for sexual exploitation in Finland and other Scandinavian countries. During the operation, coordinated by the police organization Europol and the Eurojust agency, police arrested 13 people and identified more than 90 victims, Europol said in a statement.
The police also confiscated 200,000 euros (4.7 million CZK) in cash, four luxury cars, three apartments, 40 mobile phones, four laptops, four tablets, a shotgun and ammunition. Eight bank accounts were frozen.
“The investigation into the results of this operation is still ongoing, as the total number of victims of Czech, Hungarian and Romanian nationality is more than 400,” Europol added.
Czech members of the criminal network, which is believed to have earned at least 3.3 million euros (CZK 77.5 million), acted as coordinators and offered services to victims on websites. “Offenders could reserve victims in advance, while the rotation system made it possible to offer exploited victims in multiple locations,” described the police organization.
Investigation of a well-organized criminal network, capable of operating remotely from various locations, mostly from the Czech Republic and Finland, it started already in August 2021.
The spokesman of the Czech National Center against Organized Crime (NCOZ), Jaroslav Ibehej, said two weeks ago that the Czech police are prosecuting eight people in connection with the organization and operation of sexual services in the Czech Republic and Finland . According to criminologists, the perpetrators transported the women to places of prostitution – either to Ostrava, other places in the Czech Republic or to Finland. They paid for their accommodation and flights abroad. “Furthermore, they advertised the services provided on erotic Internet portals and communicated with their customers,” the Czech police headquarters said. The perpetrators then demanded and took part of their earnings from the girls, which they divided among themselves.