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Jail for heads of massive sex trafficking ring

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15:00 CEST+02:00
Two Romanian men were sentenced on Monday to six years prison for smuggling eleven women to Sweden as part of a brutal and far-reaching prostitution ring.

The case has been labelled as Sweden's biggest human smuggling case, and at least four other men were involved, each of whom were jailed as well for aggravated pimping.

The eleven women at the centre of the case, all from Romania, were brought to Sweden by the two 45-year-old men in charge of the ring, and who were also responsible for controlling the work of the prostitutes while in Sweden.

The four others were convicted of aggravated pimping. Three of them were sentenced to four-and-a-half years behind bars, while one was ordered to spend three years in prison.

All of the men will be expelled from Sweden after completing their sentences, the court ruled.

The court said the men had "ruthlessly" taken advantage of the women, who according to press reports were between the ages of 20 and 30.

"The prosecution has shown that the men conducted prostitution activities with nine women. The investigation shows that two of the men took advantage of a power relationship they each had with one woman, which is why they have been convicted of human trafficking," judge Anette Arvestaahl said in the court statement.

The women, who are aged between 20 and 30, were brought to Sweden to work in a prostitution ring in Gothenburg's Rosenlund district.

All but 16 of the 141 men who bought sex from the women have also been convicted for illegally purchasing sex.

According to statistics from the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, 36 percent of these men were born in the 1960s, 30 percent in the 1980s, and 21 percent in the 1970s.

The youngest was 17 and the oldest was 76.

“We have found what many people have often predicted, that there was organized crime that lay behind this case, and that people have made economic gains by exposing women to this undeserved treatment, said Per Ottosson of the Gothenburg police.

The men reportedly forced the women to perform sexual acts in public toilets, parking garages and cars during 2010 and 2011.

Four of the women had sought damages from the men, and the court ordered the six men to together pay between 60,000 and 180,000 kronor (between $8,500 to $25,600) to them, the court said.

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