Police detain Vietnamese gang of procurers, people traders

June 14, 2006

Prague, June 12 (CTK) – The police detained four male and two female Vietnamese in Prague who allegedly traded in people and forced their female compatriots into prostitution in Prague and in southern Bohemia in end of May, Blanka Kosinova, spokeswoman for the squad for uncovering organised crime (UOOZ), told CTK today.

She said that the police found in home searches drugs, a large quantity of piratical CDs as well as a young male Vietnamese whom the gang allegedly kept for one and a half months and forced his parents to send them money for his alleged debt.

The organised group of suspects was accused of traiding in people and of procuring and all of them have been taken into custody. They face up to 12 years in prison if found guilty.

The UOOZ police had monitored the gang from last November. Six Vietnamese traders allegedly looked in their native country for girls to do auxiliary work and waitresses in restaurants in EU countries.

The interested persons had to pay 6500 dollars for the arrangement of all formalities in Vietnam. But they only got legally to Russia where they were contacted by people smugglers who took them illegally via Ukraine, Slovakia or Poland to the Czech Republic.

They used lorries as well as cars, but some had allegedly to go on foot.

The UOOZ detained at least 25 Vietnamese citizens who reached the Czech Republcc this way last August.

Kosinova said that after they crossed the Czech border, they let themselves be caught by the police and ended up in asylum facilities.

Gang members then contacted the detained girls and sent them further on to Germany or Britain or forced them into prostitution in order to repay an alleged debt arising from the cost of food, accommodation and securing of forged documents.

The police took action against the groups at the moment when they found out that the suspects are going to leave the Czech Republic forever.

The respective police action with the code name Tu Dia (Dangerous Zone). The young Vietnamese was also uncovered during the action. His alleged debt rose to 13,000 dollars. The suspects threatened to kill or sell him unless his parents pay for him, Kosinova said.

The police have also contacted their German colleagues and handed them a list of girls who may be staying in Germany.

ms/dr

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