Police break Athens sex-trafficking gang

Officers from the new unit against human trafficking have broken an Athens gang that imprisoned young women from the former Soviet Union and forced them into prostitution, police said yesterday. Police have made one arrest and are seeking another 15 suspected gang members – nine Greeks (including a woman), five Bulgarians and one Ukrainian national – against whom charges have been pressed. The only suspect in custody, Kyriakos Vlassis, 43, was arrested during a routine police check when he was found driving two undocumented Ukrainian women in his car. Neither was able to tell officers where she was staying in Athens. It emerged that Vlassis had been holding the two in a Kallithea flat ahead of selling them to a gang that would force them into prostitution, finding clients through newspaper ads. A raid on the flat freed a third captive.