Raids in three states crack sex-trafficking ring

Raids in three states crack sex-trafficking ring
Photo: DPA
Over 150 police officers in western Germany took part in raids across three states on Tuesday, cracking what they believe to have been a human trafficking ring. They freed at least two teenage girls thought to be living in “enslavement.”

The raids happened simultaneously at 14 different buildings. Police in France and Belgium also stormed several houses in the hope of busting the Kosovan sex slave ring, Der Spiegel magazine said on Wednesday.

Officers managed to free a 14-year-old girl in Baden-Württemberg and put her in the care of a victim support group.

In Germany alone, authorities have their eye on 22 people, four of whom are women. During the raids they arrested four main suspects, aged between 18 and 57, who face potential charges of human trafficking, rape, bodily harm, and false imprisonment.

The family-run gang may have smuggled 50 girls from Kosovo into the country, as well as into Belgium, Scandinavia and France, using fake passports from other members of the gang, police said in a statement.

Officers targeted houses in Hesse, Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg. They have been gathering information on the ring since 2011, when they found a 15-year-old girl who had been sexually assaulted.

The Local/jcw

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