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Stockholm police break up human trafficking ring

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10:26 CEST+02:00
Stockholm police have identified a large number of sex-buyers following the arrests of six men on suspicion of trafficking and pimping charges in a case involving at least 20 Lithuanian women.

The large number of suspects identified in the case are in the process of interviewing suspects.

"We have three days to submit a remand order and so we are in an intensive stage of the process. Interviews have been conducted with the arrested men," said Petra Sjölander at Stockholm police to The Local on Friday.

The six men, all of Lithuanian origin and aged 20-55-years-old, were arrested on Wednesday morning in a series of raids at apartments in the greater Stockholm area.

The arrests came as a result of an extended surveillance operation by the Stockholm City police department's unit for human trafficking.

"Yesterday's arrests came after a lengthy surveillance following tips that there had been a lot of coming and going at the apartments and frequent visits from various people," the police confirmed on their homepage.

The men were arrested on suspicion of charges of either human trafficking and aggravated pimping. A remand order is due on Saturday at the latest.

The case is currently reported to cover around 20 woman exploited for sexual services, but the police advise that the case could grow to include more women.

All of the affected women are reported to be Lithuanian citizens.

Stockholm police have advised that as the investigation is in an intensive stage no further details can be published at this time.

The purchase of sexual services is a crime in Sweden and carries a penalty ranging from fines to up to a year's imprisonment.

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