NEWS

Trial to start for 23 sex trafficking suspects

The trial of 23 suspects accused of operating a major sex-trafficking ring is due to begin in Athens on Tuesday, with the defendants facing a string of charges including running a criminal organization, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

The trial stems from a large-scale Interpol, Europol and Greek Police operation, code-named “White Bread,” which culminated in 2008 with the arrests of dozens of suspects and women, mainly from the former Soviet Union, who testified to being kept captive and forced into prostitution to “pay off” the cost of being smuggled into Greece illegally.

The gang allegedly laundered its ill-gotten gains through a chain of bakeries and had set up an offshore company in Cyprus to avoid scrutiny from Greek authorities, Ethnos newspaper reported on Sunday.