Human trafficking trial gets underway
Sixteen women were allegedly lured to a better life in Denmark before being forced into prostitution
A human trafficking case got underway at Copenhagen City Court yesterday, with nine Romanians charged with forcing 16 women into prostitution.
Police allege that the nine defendants – seven men and two women – promised the Romanian women a better life in Denmark before forcing them to sell their bodies in Copenhagen’s red light district on Istedgade.
According to Carsten Ahrends of the Copenhagen Police, the defendants are key members of a Romanian prostitution network.
“The masterminds are Romanians who come from the same region as the women. Some of them are also from the same town, so they all know each other,” Ahrends told Ritzau.
The trial arrives following a six-month investigation that uncovered how the defendants controlled and collected money from the women.
According to Ritzau, the women have not been very co-operative, forcing police to rely on evidence gathered by monitoring telephones.
The defendants are all pleading not guilty. They risk up ten years in prison followed by deportation if they lose the case.
“The nine defendants have all been charged with human trafficking even though the women have not necessarily been sold. What is more important is that they were exploited, and moved from one place to another in order to use them in prostitution,” prosecutor Maria Congari told Ritzau.
One of the defendants is denying his guilt based on the fact that one of the women is his girlfriend.