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Six jailed for Lithuanian sex trafficking ring

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10:20 CEST+02:00
Six men on trial for trafficking Lithuanian women to Sweden and selling them for sex were sentenced to prison on Tuesday for running an elaborate trafficking and pimping operation estimated to have generated one million kronor ($141,000) in only ten months.

The men, all Lithuanian citizens in their twenties, were handed prison sentences ranging from one to three-and-a-half years and ordered deported from Sweden after serving their sentences.

The youngest of the men, aged 21, was given the stiffest sentence: 3.5 years in prison and a 10-year expulsion from Sweden following a conviction for human trafficking and aggravated pimping.

The two men who received the stiffest penalties were based in Sweden and served as local managers for the operation, while the four others are believed to have administered the pimping operation, including identifying clients, placing ads on the internet, and collecting money which was then sent back to their bosses in Lithuania.

According to prosecutor Lars Ågren, the men lured vulnerable Lithuanian women under false promises of the riches that awaited them if they came to Sweden to sell sex.

He estimated that the men's operation generated a turnover of one million kronor between November 2010 and August 2011.

However, the women who worked as prostitutes saw only a small share of the earnings.

One of the women, who recently turned 19, was promised 10,000 kronor a day when she was recruited from a small Lithuanian village.

She had never sold sex previously, but once in Sweden was forced to be with between five and eight clients per day.

According to the court, the 19-year-old had been a victim of human trafficking.

"She didn't get to keep a penny of what she earned. But she was so naive and willing that she followed the men here three times," Ågren told the TT news agency.

The woman has since been offered safe housing in Sweden and will be allowed to stay in the country.

TT/The Local/dl

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