Swedish men order foreign prostitutes online

Those behind prostitution and human trafficking in Sweden have begun to change their tactics to avoid the Swedish police and to get around the country's legislation, according to a new report from the National Criminal Investigation Department.

Men who pay for sex can now order women from abroad via the internet.

The set-up is so organised that punters can ring a central booking agency outside Sweden which pays for the woman’s travel and hotel room. Half of the money is paid into a bank account and the other half is paid in cash to the prostitute.

Another trend identified in the report, Human trafficking for sex, was that it is becoming harder to link particular organisations to individual women. Prostitutes are instructed to say that they operate on their own whenever they are questioned by police.

The report revealed that the number of female pimps is increasing, especially in Stockholm. They have often been prostitutes themselves and are believed to be better at gaining the confidence of new prostitutes.

In 2005, most prostitutes came to Sweden from Estonia, Russia and Poland. Women from Rumania, Slovakia and Kosovo, many of Romany origin, have also been more common.

Many of the prostitutes dealt with by police were under 18.

In southern Sweden there was an increasing number of young girls arriving from the former Soviet states in 2005, usually claiming that they are sisters and almost always travelling with a ‘big brother’.

The girls return year after year, with new identities – and new big brothers. According to the NCID report, many of these girls are being forced into petty crime and are being sexually abused.

Police in Örebro reported one girl who was arrested for pickpocketing. She had 15 different identities in Europe and had sought asylum in Sweden under three different names.