Police on Thursday were searching for a 15-year-old girl who disappeared from the district of Peristeri on Wednesday, after a child welfare charity said it believed she has been trapped by human traffickers.
Costas Giannopoulos, president of the Hamogelo tou Paidiou (Child’s Smile) charity told kathimerini.gr that he fears the girl has fallen victim to a “loverboy,” an individual who seduces young, vulnerable girls and boys over a lengthy period of time, in order to exploit them sexually later on.
Officers are sweeping Roma camps mainly in western Attica where they suspect that the “loverboy” gang might be hiding.
Giannopoulos said another girl under the care of the charity had fallen victim to such a gang.
“When we talk about such gangs, we are referring to guys who use social media to approach young girls by pretending to be in love. This creates a relationship of trust between them, love develops and that is where the brainwashing begins. The girl is turned against her family” he told kathimerini.gr.
“After the promises and the love, exploitation and blackmail begins, where she is told, if you do not do this, this is what will happen to your family.”