Greek authorities dismantle major prostitution racket


The Greek police’s organized crime and human trafficking unit has dismantled a large-scale operation that exploited migrant women, forcing them to work as prostitutes.

In a coordinated operation in Athens, in the southwest Peloponnese and on the holiday island of Myconos, police arrested 13 suspects, while arrest warrants have been issued for another 12.

According to the police’s announcement on Sunday, members of the gang would smuggle women into Greece, mainly from former eastern block counties, with promises of finding them legitimate employment. They would then place the women in apartments in Athens, take away their travel and identification papers to prevent them from running away and force them by violence to work at as prostitutes at various nightclubs.

The gang also supplied brothels and strip clubs in other parts of the country with women from its human trafficking network.

In order to legalize their status in Greece, meanwhile, the gang would arrange for the women to conduct civil unions with men they would locate and pay.

In another sign of criminal sophistication, members of the gang would file lawsuits against any women who appeared to challenge them so as to undermine their credibility in the event that they ever went to the police.

Investigators say they have evidence that the gang exploited at least 25 women in the last six months.