Swedish court charges 16 with human trafficking

Sixteen people were charged with human trafficking and procuring in a Swedish court on Wednesday for selling two Slovakian women and forcing them into prostitution, according to judicial documents.

The 16 were citizens of Sweden, Slovakia, Serbia-Montenegro, Syria and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and at least one of them was a woman, according to the charge sheet, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

They are suspected of human trafficking, accessory to human trafficking and procuring.

In March and April, two Slovakian women, named as Lenka, 20, and Martina, 28, were allegedly recruited in their country and brought to Sweden, where they were sold for 7,000 kronor and 5,000 kronor respectively by two of the accused.

From April 1 to 11, according to the charges, the women were forced to prostitute themselves. Almost all the money they made was taken by the accused, and their passports were confiscated.

Swedish prosecutor Magnus Elving told AFP that wiretaps had helped police intervene in the affair.



Swedish pastor admits to buying sex

A pastor from central Sweden has been convicted of buying sex from a prostitute after being nabbed when police broke up a major pimping operation.

Swedish pastor admits to buying sex

The pastor, a man in his early fifties, was ordered to pay a fine of 15,000 kronor ($2,300) and has been temporarily relieved of his duties with the Church of Sweden (Svenska kyrkan).

“What I did was really stupid and it’s something I deeply regret,” the pastor told the Expressen newspaper.

The pastor was home by himself looking at the websites of various escort services before deciding to call one of the numbers.

He requested to have a woman come to his home address where police, who had been tracking a suspected pimping operation with ties to Romania, were on hand to watch the pastor let the woman into his home.

The pastor then paid the woman 1,500 kronor before they both disrobed and engaged in sexual intercourse, he admitted to police during a subsequent interrogation, Expressen reported.

The case was tied to a large pimping operation through which young women from Romania were sold for sex to clients in Sweden. The operation was managed through a call-centre based in Romania.

“These woman were used as if they were on a conveyor belt,” detective Anders Nilshagen of the police’s human trafficking section told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Four men have since been convicted for their role in running the pimping ring, which was in operation for 18 months.

Meanwhile, he pastor has been temporarily stripped of his duties in the wake of the sex buying scandal.

“This can’t happen. It’s totally unacceptable,” Church of Sweden spokesman Pär Sandberg told DN.

The cathedral chapter is set to review the pastor’s case later this month and take a stand on his future with the church.

TT/The Local/dl

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