ATHENS, Feb. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Greek Police on Friday announced that they have dismantled a ring involved in the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women.
They said they had apprehended the ring leader and nine women, while another 20 people were also implicated in the case but had not been detained because they were not caught in the act.
The police said that 18,000 euros believed to be proceeds from the exploitation of the women, 84 pistol bullets and bank books containing deposits of 280,000 euros were confiscated during the operation.
The investigation is continuing via Interpol with the assistance of foreign authorities in order to fully dismantle the international ring, since it was discovered that the girls were flown to various European Union countries before arriving in Greece.
The operation was carried out on Thursday evening acting on information and a lengthy investigation over several months.
The police noted that the ring was comprised of Greeks and foreign nationals living in former Soviet states but also various travel agencies that sought out young women and undertook to provide them with travel documents, promising them legitimate workas baby-sitters, domestic help or waitresses once they arrived in Greece.
Documents and tickets were provided free of charge but the women undertook to pay for them through their work once in Greece,the police added.
On their arrival, the women initially spent a few days in various houses and hotels and were then delivered to the same person, who paid 2,500-3,000 euros for each one. The man then set up the young women in apartments specially rented for the purpose and used various means to persuade them to work as prostitutes, usually in exchange for arranging their legal residence in Greece.
One method was to use either the women's own underage children or fake birth certificates and then find Greek men in dire financial need that were prepared to acknowledge the children as their own for sums ranging from 120 to 1,000 euro.
This legalized the presence of the women in Greece, who were then put to work in five brothels owned by the ring-leader for between three and five years, depending on their age. The women each received three euro for every client, who paid between 20-25 euros a visit.
According to police, 14 such "recognitions" took place between 1999 and 2004, each time using the same notary and the same interpreter.
They also noted that the ring leader had taken extraordinary measures to avoid capture, staying at a different address every night, using different cars and employing lookouts outside his brothels to warn him in case of a police raid. Enditem