2013年5月31日金曜日

Sex Slave2013

性奴隷の報道は減らない。

2001年欧州での人身売買報道
   欧州では、毎年20万人以上の女性が人身売買。
   欧州中央部や欧州東部、旧ソ連から性奴隷(売春婦)として
   1/4は世界中へ、1/2は欧州西部、1/4は米国へ密輸出。

2013年5月 英国
 印より、出稼ぎで英国へ渡航した女性が、パスポートを強奪され、
 2005-2012年の間、奴隷(性奴隷含む)として扱われた。逃亡しようと
 した時には虐待された裁判の判決があった。

2013年5月 米国
 2006-2008年と2010-2013年にメキシコ、グァテマラの少女らを騙して、
 米国へ密入国させ、売春を強要した容疑者4人が告発された。

2013年5月 韓国
 韓国でマッサージ士として働けば、高給が得られるとして、タイ女性
 を勧誘。韓国で働き始めたが、無給で、異なる作業を強いられた容疑
 で逮捕。

拉致監禁や違法薬物漬け、脅迫等により性奴隷。
女性が単独で海外旅行し、現地で拉致。中東に売られて、御殿に監禁され、
性奴隷。覇気も無いまま繁華街でうろうろ。話すと逃亡もあきらめ、現状
維持。貧困と虐待の家族から逃れ、夢見る裕福な生活のために国際結婚は
人身売買だったと言う話もあった。
多くの国で、拉致監禁や人身売買等による性奴隷の報道がある。
需要があるから供給するのは、いつでもどこでも変わらない。

日本の政府を誘導するには、米国からの要請が一番効果的と言う一部の
思想が影響しているようだ。さらに、サムソン資金によるロビー活動が
影響を与え、日本軍の強制連行によるSex Slaveが大勢いたとの認識が
確立。
メディアの多くは、強制連行されたSex Slaveを否定し、Sex Slaveは必要
だったとの大阪市長を問題視。大阪市長は、慰安所での遊興は、当時の
慣習であり、人身売買による慰安婦はいたが、中朝の従軍慰安婦は偽証と
対立。連行監禁され、性行為をしたのは日本兵と民間人が経営する慰安所
での遊興。生き証人がいるのに、過去のこと等の対立もある。

河野談話発表から時間が経ち、関係者の思惑で、騒動を拡大、敗戦国の
主張は通りにくい。蘭や東南アジア女性の強制連行によるSex Slaveが
いたことを日本政府も認めているが、当時の日本政府は、「朝鮮半島の
強制連行によるSex Slaveはいなかった」と発表。米国議会調査局の報告
でも「日本軍によるほとんどの徴募を直接に実行はしなかっただろう。
特に朝鮮半島ではなかった」としている。

韓国では、「千年経っても歴史的立場は不変」と言うように、女衒や口
減らしをした親族の立場は変わらず、日本軍を利用して責任回避か。
国家ではない韓国政府は、軍事政権か国民の人気取りをする政策の政府
しか成立できないようだ。愛国心を利用するしかない。

一部のメディアをみれば、韓国のロビー活動が記事にも影響を与えた
ようだ。
噛みあわない議論で、また騒動を拡大。Sex Slaveの人数がさらに増加か。

政治活動として訪日したハルモニらは、政治利用されるからと敵前逃亡。
詐欺師まがいの人達との印象がさらに深まる。
韓国のロビー活動の影響者や大阪市長等の関係者の売名活動はうまく
言ったかもしれない。

現状では、経済的植民地政策や海洋侵略を進める中国同様、日本の軍事的
脅威論が強まる。英米のイラク侵略に加担した親米派の与党に、米国離れ
ができるかも疑問。独自外交は、高嶺の花だろう。

米議員の一部には、アジアの問題を米国で騒動化していると言う人もいる。
金で主張を買えるのがロビー活動。選挙に当選できれば、なんでもあり。

米国へ移民した中国人や韓国人。米国籍取得のために米国への忠誠を誓っ
ても、生物学的母国への忠誠を優先すると自負する人の報道もある。
Home Grown Terroistsは、米国に潜伏か。

6月1日は人権擁護委員の日。
従軍慰安婦の報道で、一番得したのは、人権団体かもしれない。

「慰安婦」に想いをよせて-戦争と女性の尊厳-
韓国 戦争継続
AlJazeera Chinese Slavery
官製日本叩き2012
法治国家を捨てた韓国
ナイジェリア 赤ちゃん工場摘発2013
US Army Soldier as Sex Slave


Captive The Sex Slave Girl Part 1 of 5


Captive The Sex Slave Girl Part 2 of 5


Captive The Sex Slave Girl Part 3 of 5


Captive The Sex Slave Girl Part 4 of 5


Captive The Sex Slave Girl Part 5 of 5


The Sex-Slave Across the Street - CBN.com


Complete News - Outrage over Argentina sex slave trial


One child policy flexible & Shenzhen sex slave caseCT0315


Sex-Slave Trafficking in Chicago


Isabella Castillo FOUND SAFE - The Sex Trafficker that doesn't exist


Ann Romney Invests in SEX SLAVE Fund, Poland's Secret CIA Prisons Exposed - ALEX JONES


Westfield couple accused of using child as sex slave


Westfield police investigate possibility of more victims in "sex slave" abuse


---Anguish from Japan's sex slave legacy unsettled---
By Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press
May 28th, 2013 @ 6:47pm
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=121&sid=25096132&title=correction-japan-sex-slaves-story

OSAKA, Japan (AP) - More than 70 years ago, at age 14, Kim Bok-dong was ordered to work by Korea's Japanese occupiers. She was told she was going to a military uniform factory, but ended up at a Japanese military-linked brothel in southern China.

She had to take an average of 15 soldiers per day during the week, and dozens over the weekend. At the end of the day she would be bleeding and could not even stand because of the pain. She and other girls were closely watched by guards and could not escape. It was a secret she carried for decades; the man she later married died without ever knowing.

Tens of thousands of women had similar stories to tell, or to hide, from Japan's occupation of much of Asia before and during World War II. Many are no longer living, and those who remain are still waiting for Japan to offer reparations and a more complete apology than it has so far delivered.

"I'm here today, not because I wanted to but because I had to," Kim, now 87, told a packed audience of mostly Japanese at a community center in Osaka over the weekend. "I came here to ask Japan to settle its past wrongdoing. I hope the Japanese government resolves the problem as soon as possible while we elderly women are still alive."

The issue of Japan's use of Korean, Chinese and Southeast Asian women and girls as sex slaves - euphemistically called "comfort women" - continues to alienate Tokyo from its neighbors nearly 70 years after the war's end. It is a wound that was made fresh this month when the co-head of an emerging nationalistic party, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, said "comfort women" had been necessary to maintain military discipline and give respite to battle-weary troops.

His comments drew outrage from South Korea and China, as well as from the U.S. State Department, which called them "outrageous and offensive."

Hashimoto provided no evidence but insisted that Tokyo has been unfairly singled out for its World War II behavior regarding women, saying some other armies at the time had military brothels. None of them, however, has been accused of the kind of widespread, organized sexual slavery that has been linked to Japan's military.

Historians say up to 200,000 women from across Asia, including China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as the Netherlands, were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers.

To many people, even within Japan, Hashimoto's comments suggest that even after all these years, Japanese leaders don't want to fully acknowledge wartime wrongs and are out of touch with the sentiments not only of their neighbors and the international community, but also many of their own citizens.

"It's not a problem of the past. It's a continuing problem that involves people who are still alive," said Koichi Nakano, a Sophia University political science professor. "Japan is perceived as merely waiting for them to die while looking the other way and dragging its feet. That looks bad from a humanity point of view."

According to a survey conducted over the weekend by the conservative Sankei newspaper and FNN television, more than 75 percent of Japanese said Hashimoto's sex slave remarks were inappropriate, while support for his party slumped to 6.4 percent - nearly half what it was last month.

The comments come amid rising concerns in the region over the nationalistic shift in Japan's political leadership under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has suggested he wants to revise Japan's past apologies for its wartime aggression and change its pacifist constitution.

In 1993, Japan officially apologized to "comfort women" in a landmark statement by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, acknowledging "immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds."

But Kim and other women want a full apology approved by parliament and official compensation from the government. Tokyo has resisted that, saying war reparations with South Korea were dealt with in treaties restoring relations after the war. In 1995, Tokyo created a fund using private donations as a way for Japan to pay former sex slaves without providing official compensation.

The fund provided 2 million yen ($20,000) each to about 280 women in the Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea, and funded nursing homes for Indonesian victims and medical assistance to about 80 former Dutch sex slaves.

In South Korea, 207 women formally came forward and were recognized as eligible recipients. But only a fraction actually accepted the money because of criticism of the private fund. Instead they receive support from the South Korean government and a support group.

In Japan, public sentiment has become less compassionate in recent years toward Asian victims of the country's wartime aggression. References to "comfort women" once in school history textbooks have disappeared.

Much of the debate over "comfort women" still focuses on what role the government at the time played in organizing brothels, and if - or to what extent - the women were coerced. The Kono statement says the military was involved directly or indirectly in the establishment and management of front-line brothels and transfer of women, and that many women were in many cases "recruited against their own will through coaxing and coercion."

Nobuo Ishihara, who was then deputy Cabinet secretary, said in March 2006 that interviews with 16 South Korean women in Seoul led to the conclusion that there was coercion though there were no official documents showing so.

"After interviewing the 16 comfort women, we came to believe that what they were saying could not be fabrication. We thought there was no doubt they were forced to become comfort women against their will," Ishihara said. "Based on the investigation team's report, we, as the government, concluded that there was coercion."

The government investigation also found that many of the Dutch victims were selected from concentration camps and forcibly sent to brothels, while those in the Philippines and Indonesia were raped at battlefronts, kidnapped and forced to provide sex under confinement.

Hashimoto, 43, sought to calm the uproar Monday, telling a packed news conference that he personally didn't condone using "comfort women," which he labeled a violation of human rights.

But he repeatedly insisted that Japan's wartime government did not systematically force girls and women into prostitution, although he acknowledged that some may have been deceived and coerced. He said the historical record isn't clear, which is similar to Abe's view that there is no proof the women were coerced as a result of a state order. He said historians from both Japan and South Korea should settle the matter.

Hashimoto acknowledged that this murkiness probably is the key stumbling block in Japan's ties with South Korea.

Chuo University historian Yoshiaki Yoshimi, one of Japan's most respected experts on "comfort women," criticized the Japanese government for taking an extremely narrow interpretation of what constitutes coercion.

He said documents show "comfort women" recruited in Japan were mostly adult professionals, although many had been sold into the sex industry by their poor families. However, in Asian countries invaded by Japan, there was no consideration of the rights of minors or the right to quit, which he said should constitute coercion by international standards.

"Neither Prime Minister Abe nor Mayor Hashimoto has tried to look at how those girls and young women were abused. Their view is worlds apart from the international view," he said.

Kim was dragged across Asia, from Hong Kong to Singapore and Indonesia, until the end of the war in 1945. She was freed in Singapore and returned home in 1946. She later was married but - like most former sex slaves - was never able to reveal her past to anyone but her mother - until decades later.

"Even as I returned to my homeland, it never was a true liberation for me," she told listeners at the community center. "How could I tell anyone what had happened to me during the war? It was living with a big lump in my chest."

She finally broke her silence several years after her husband died in 1981. Later she joined a group of women seeking official recognition as victims of Japan's sex slavery.

Kim has since traveled around the world to tell her story and participates in weekly protests in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

Kim and another former sex slave, 84-year-old Kil Won-ok, had been seeking a meeting with Hashimoto for some time when he made his comments this month. He then offered to meet with them, but they canceled, saying they didn't perceive that he was remorseful and didn't want to be used by him to rehabilitate his image. Instead, they spoke to the public in Osaka.

"We won't be around much longer," Kil said. "But we have to tell you our stories because we don't want the same mistake repeated again."


---Man, uncles accused of forcing Mexican women into prostitution in metro Atlanta---
police news
May 22, 2013
By: Kimathi Lewis
http://www.examiner.com/article/man-uncles-accused-of-forcing-mexican-women-into-prostitution-metro-atlanta

A man and his two uncles allegedly forced three women into prostitution in metro Atlanta; a fourth man is accused of inducing another to enter the United States from Mexico.
Mr. Arturo Rojas-Coyotl, 26, Mr. Odilon Martinez-Rojas, 41, and Mr. Severiano Martinez-Rojas, 48, all of Tenancingo in the state of Tlaxcala, Mexico were indicted Tuesday for sex trafficking and alien harboring, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

A fourth man, Mr. Daniel Garcia-Tepal, 28, also of Tlaxcala, Mexico, is charged with encouraging and inducing aliens to enter and reside in the United States unlawfully.

“The defendants are charged with preying on young women from Mexico and Guatemala, smuggling them into the United States under false pretenses, and forcing them into prostitution,” United States Attorney Mrs. Sally Quillian Yates said.

“U.S. laws protect all trafficking victims, and we will prosecute those who engage in this practice.”

Prosecutors said Mr. Rojas-Coyotl and his uncles used force, fraud and coercion to compel three women to engage in prostitution in Atlanta and Norcross between 2006 and 2008.

Mr. Daniel Garcia-Tepal and Mr. Arturo Rojas-Coyotl are also charged with encouraging and inducing a fourth woman to unlawfully enter and remain in the United States between 2010 and 2013, federal officials said.

Special Agents of the FBI and ICE Homeland Security Investigations arrested Mr. Rojas-Coyotl, Mr. Odilon Martinez-Rojas, and Mr. Garcia-Tepal in a law enforcement sweep.

Mr. Severiano Martinez-Rojas remains a fugitive and is believed to be in Mexico. The FBI plans to work with officials in Mexico City to capture him and extradite him back to the United States.

“The enslavement of women forced into prostitution is a heinous crime that occurs all too frequently in our communities,” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Atlanta.

“Across the country, law enforcement agencies from the federal to the local level are teaming up to identify arrest and prosecute those who seek to profit at the expense of the suffering of others.”


---Indian woman, 39, forced into slavery by TWO WOMEN who made her work 16-hour days and paid her just L2,300 for four years of gruelling work---
By Rosie Taylor
PUBLISHED: 15:53 GMT, 16 May 2013 | UPDATED: 13:27 GMT, 17 May 2013
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2325599/Indian-woman-39-forced-slavery-TWO-WOMEN-work-16-hour-days-paid-just-2-300-years-gruelling-work.html#ixzz2TXRx00hE

The woman was also raped by a butcher who made her sleep on his floor
Indian victim came to UK to work as nanny but was trapped by group
She was passed between the homes of three acquaintances

An Indian woman was forced into modern-day slavery by two women who locked her indoors and forced her to work 16-hour days.

The victim was also raped by the women's accomplice, 54-year-old butcher Enkarta Balapovi.

At a sentencing of three people today, the court heard he subjected the 39-year-old to four months of sexual abuse behind his wife's back while forcing his victim to sleep on the floor of his single room flat.

He forced the woman to cook and clean for him, and threatened to burn her passport unless she stripped naked and performed sex acts.

When the married victim resisted his advances, Balapovi threatened to throw her on to the streets without any identity documents if she did not sleep with him.

The illiterate woman had been lured to the UK with the promise of work as a nanny, hoping to earn money for her poverty-stricken family in India.

But she found herself locked indoors and forced to work 16-hour days during a four-year ordeal at the hands of Balapovi and co-accused women Shamina Yousuf, a secretary, and optician Shashi Obhrai.

The mother-of-four was burned with an iron, threatened with hypodermic needles and had a knife held to her throat by Obhrai, 54, when she tried to escape.

Her passport was seized by Yousuf, 33, as soon as she arrived, and the woman was passed between three families as a 'dogsbody', earning just L2,300 for year's of gruelling work.

Despite dubbing Obhrai as 'wicked', Judge Shani Barnes spared her a jail sentence because she is the primary carer for her terminally ill millionaire husband Balram Obhrai, 59.

Mr Obhrai had been accused of trafficking and making threats to kill but the prosecution offered no evidence against him because he has a brain tumour and is on his death bed at home.

Yousuf, 33, had first recruited the woman when she came to the UK in 2005 to earn money for her poverty-stricken family in Hyderabad, India.

After nearly three years as a 'servant' for Yousuf's family and friends, the woman confronted her.

Yousuf, whose marriage was breaking up, threw a mug at the woman's foot which left a two-inch gash.

Obhrai employed the victim from October 2007 and forced her to work from 6am to 11pm.

During her time there, she was burned with an iron, threatened with a hypodermic needle and hit over the head with a rolling pin after a row about chapatti recipes.

Balapovi, Yousuf, and Obhrai appeared in the dock together at Croydon Crown Court today to be sentenced.

Balapovi was jailed for 11 years, while Yousuf was sentenced to 40 hours community service and Obhrai was given a 20 month suspended jail sentence.

Prosecutor Caroline Haughey said the uneducated victim was 'one of the most vulnerable members of society' who had been targeted because she was unaware of her basic human rights.

'She has been bullied physically, psychologically, she has been sexually assaulted, she has been raped,' she said.

'She was clearly viewed as a belonging by the defendants in this case, each one of them separately contributing to the violation of her right.

'Her naivety, her innocence, her lack of education, has been exploited with threats and physical violence preying on her lack of understanding of western norms.'

n a statement to the court, the victim, who has been given compassionate leave to stay in the UK for five years, said: 'They have made my life hell. I have suffered with depression and sleepless nights for a very long time.

'I have to take medication so that I can get some sleep. They have treated me so badly that I worry at night that they will come for me.

'These people are dangerous they have ruined my life and kept me away from my children. Each should be punished for their wrongdoings.'

During a six-week trial, the court heard how Yousuf had forced the woman into servitude at her home in London by taking away her passport and promising to help her get a UK visa.

But she refused to return the passport and the victim found herself trapped for three years before she was passed on to Balapovi, a butcher living in north London.

He downed alcohol and repeatedly forced himself on her when she spurned his advances, grabbing her hair, kissing her so violently he cut her lips, and promising her a visa for her if she had sex with him.

The woman said: 'When Salim [Balapovi] used to have sex with me, my whole body used to ache. I can't move on - he raped me.'

When passed to Obhrai's house in also in north London the woman was beaten with high heel shoes, jabbed in the head with a comb and pushed her down the stairs.

Of one incident, the woman said: 'Shashi Obhrai put a hot iron on my arm when I asked her for my earnings to be paid.

'She told me that she would do it. I told her that the iron was on and she said, "Have a look, is it hot or not?", and put the iron on me.'

She was also forced to survive on out-of-date food and the spat-out leftovers of Obhrai's children. When she was sick from tiredness, Obhrai made her clean up the vomit with her own clothes.

The woman managed to escape from Obhrai's clutches to a crisis centre, but her tormentor found her and threatened to kill her with a knife if she did not return.

She eventually escaped again and contacted refuge charities and the police.

In May last year, officers charged the trio with a variety of abuse offences.

Obhrai was convicted after trial of making a threat to kill and ABH after a trial.

She was given 18-months in prison for ABH and 20 months in prison for making threats to kill, with both sentences running concurrently and suspended for 20 months.

Yousuf was convicted of ABH, and order to carry out 40 hours unpaid work.

Her husband, supermarket manager, Aleemuddin Mohammed, 35, was cleared of sexual assault at the trial.

Butcher Balapovi's wife Shanaz Begum, 57, was found not guilty of people trafficking offences on the direction of the judge.


---Two held for Korean sex trade---
Published: 3 May 2013 at 08.47
http://bangkokpost.com/news/local/348196/two-held-for-luring-thai-girls-into-korean-sex-trade

A South Korean man and a Thai woman have been arrested for their alleged involvement in human trafficking and the flesh trade in Korea.

Police from the anti-human trafficking division on Thursday arrested Lee Junho, 47, and Natthaya Porthong, 25, on Rama IX Road in Huai Khwang district.

The arrests followed complaints from two women on March 20 that they had been lured into prostitution in South Korea.

The women said the suspects had persuaded them to work as masseuses at Koong Thai massage shop in Seoul with a promise they would earn at least 100,000 baht a month. WWhen the women arrived there in January they were forced into the flesh trade.

They were asked to provide sex services to male customers five to seven times a day, they said. They had not received any money.

The victims managed to escape the massage shop and returned to Thailand to file complaints with police. Both suspects denied all charges.


---Infiltrating Europe's shameful trade in human beings---
June 2001
By Preston Mendenhall
MSNBC.com exposes a sexual slavery network
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3071965/ns/us_news-only/t/infiltrating-europes-shameful-trade-human-beings/#.UaV3AUp_558

VELESTA, Macedonia - Olga winced as she drew back the bandage on her right breast, revealing an infected puncture wound that hadn’t healed since a man bit her in a fit of sexual rage. But the wound, for which the 19-year-old Moldovan lacked even basic medicine, is only a small part of Olga’s daily agony. For more than a year she has been held as a sex slave in this town in western Macedonia, where human trafficking flourishes and young girls are forced to endure the sexual whims of thousands of men.

Sitting in a brothel bedroom in Velesta, a town synonymous with forced prostitution that police and experts consider one of the most dangerous places in Europe, Olga said that her “owner” would kill her for telling a reporter about her state of captivity. But the cruel conditions under which she is held, and her deteriorating mental and physical health, compelled her to speak out.

Her head hung in shame, Olga’s dark brown eyes welled with tears. She brushed back her long black hair, revealing a fair complexion flushed with anger at her fate. “There is only one word for this,” she said. “Slavery.”

Forced to have sex with as many as 10 men every day, Olga and other women clandestinely interviewed by MSNBC.com as part of a four-month investigation into the sex trade in Europe, insisted that their real identities not be revealed.

Their fears are not unfounded. Those brave enough to seek help have been savagely beaten - and sometimes killed - for trying to escape.

Flourishing sex trade
Olga is one small cog in a huge transnational industry, and Macedonia is merely a way station on a path to bondage that begins in impoverished Eastern Europe and the chaotic states that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union, and stretches to Western Europe, the Middle East and beyond.

In Europe alone, officials estimate that more than 200,000 women and girls - one-quarter of all women trafficked globally - are smuggled out of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics each year, the bulk of whom end up working as enslaved prostitutes. Almost half are transported to Western Europe. Roughly a quarter end up in the United States. Human rights activists say the numbers do not tell the full story, because most women remain silent rather than turn to frequently corrupt authorities for help.

The rapid rise of this sex slave trade can be traced to the fall of the Soviet Union, where borders once heavily guarded by the Red Army suddenly became porous and Soviet republics and Eastern European satellites once in the Kremlin’s grasp saw their industries and subsidies collapse overnight. Millions of young women like Olga came of age amid this economic misery. Their childhood fantasies of a better life in the West soon became a human trafficker’s golden opportunity.

Moldova's misery
Nowhere is this trafficking worse than it is in Moldova, Olga’s home, where experts estimate that since the fall of the Soviet Union between 200,000 and 400,000 women have been sold into prostitution - perhaps up to 10 percent of the female population.

The numbers are staggering, but for Liuba Revenko of the International Organization for Migration in Moldova the bondage of the country’s young women has become routine. “Moldovans are a hybrid population of Russians, Romanians, Jews, Ukrainians and Bulgarians,” Revenko said. “That creates a special race of women that are beautiful and in demand. They have no future. They are a good target for the traffickers.”

In Velesta, a town so small that the 120 Moldovan girls working as prostitutes there make up a sizeable part of the population, the sex slaves are rarely seen during the day. Kept under lock and key in the back rooms of a dozen “kafane,” or cafe-bars that double as brothels, they are summoned by their owners when a customer arrives. Then the girls, most in their late teens or early 20s, are paraded in skimpy lingerie before clients who “pick us according to their tastes,” said Irina, a Moldovan who answered a want-ad to be a waitress in Italy, but ended up trapped in a Balkans brothel instead of working in a restaurant in southern Sicily.

Rural Moldovan women, lacking education and desperate to escape, are easy targets, activists say. Sometimes the bondage is built around a debt that is impossible to pay off. Other times, it is simply brutal captivity.

They end up servicing clients with the false hope of working off a “debt” to their owners, who continue to entice them with real jobs in Europe.

Unwitting victims
The women’s tales of bondage are hauntingly similar. Olga, the Moldovan with the breast wound, was virtually kidnapped when she played hooky from school in rural Moldova. Initially, she was drawn to the prospect of a new life in Italy - far away from her alcoholic mother and abusive brother. But the next thing she knew, a Serb smuggler called “Dragan” was pulling her out of a car trunk in the Romanian town of Timisoara, on the border with Yugoslavia. Dragan and his Romanian pals loaded 10 girls on a boat to cross the Danube. After a few days in a basement near Belgrade, Olga was led across the Serbian frontier with Macedonia - under the eyes of obliging border guards - and brought to Velesta. “There were clients on the very first night,” she said.

With no passport and little idea where she was, Olga was raped, beaten into submission and humiliated until she no longer had the will to challenge her horrible fate.

“Meti made me clean the toilet with my tongue. It was horrible and dirty. I think they did it because I was the newest girl,” Olga said of her ethnic Albanian owner. “He made me lick another girl’s … you know, down there. And then he laughed.”

Young and beautiful, Olga has stayed in Velesta longer than most trafficked women, many of whom are moved on into Albania and Greece after the local population “breaks them in or gets tired of them,” Olga said. Once they reach the Albanian coast, they are easily trafficked to Italy, where the European Union’s lax border controls allow them to be smuggled deep inside the continent.

Billions in profits
Ten years of wars in the Balkans have turned the region into a trafficking highway paved with lawlessness and corruption that has prompted former enemies - Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and ethnic Albanians - to set aside ethnic rivalries in the name of vast profits. “You’re talking about big international organizations,” said Rudolf Perina, a former U.S. ambassador to Moldova who was involved in Washington-funded anti-trafficking efforts.

Ethnic Albanian rebels in Kosovo, Macedonia and south Serbia - long the masters of drug running in the Balkans - are deeply involved in the human smuggling business, using the flesh trade to fund their separatist movements.

Luisa, a 32-year-old single Moldovan mother whose neighbor persuaded her to accept a job in Italy and “marry a rich Roman,” found herself repeatedly raped by her “owner,” Dilaver Bojku, an ethnic Albanian trafficking kingpin from Velesta. European law enforcement officials say Bojku, one of the sex trade’s “Most Wanted,” has used cash and, reportedly, contacts with ethnic Albanian rebels to avoid arrest for years. “He bought me for $700,” Luisa said.

She was freed in a police raid on Velesta, after MSNBC.com confronted Macedonia’s interior minister, Ljube Boskovski, with tales of sex slavery only a few hours’ drive from his office in the capital of Skopje.

But Olga and other women who took great risk to speak about their predicament were nowhere to be found.

The Macedonian SWAT team that raided bars called Coca Cola, Safari and Bela Dona was only partly successful.

Tipped off to the raids, brothel owners had spirited girls out secret exits in the backrooms of the bars and hidden them in the woods behind the buildings. The sheets on the beds were still warm. With the exception of a few minor pimps, the kingpins like Bojku escaped.

Lack of laws
The raid on Velesta was the first by Macedonian police, long wary of upsetting the uneasy peace between the country’s Macedonian Slavs and ethnic Albanian minority.

Even Boskovski admitted his own policemen were on the smugglers’ payroll, making it virtually impossible to surprise the traffickers and rescue their sex slaves. Boskovski also complained about a lack of laws to keep traffickers behind bars. “The punishments are not really severe,” he said.

In an interview with MSNBC.com, Vitalie Curarari, the head of Moldova’s anti-trafficking police, lashed out at the media for “sensationalizing” sex slavery and placed much of the blame for trafficking on the women themselves. “Fifty percent of our women just go abroad to find another man and then come back to divorce their husbands,” Curarari said.

In the heart of Europe
Farther along the trafficking pipeline, hundreds of women and girls are smuggled into Europe every day and forced onto the streets of cities like Hamburg, Paris, London and Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, a city synonymous with hedonism, is perhaps best known for its legalized sex industry, in which prostitutes pay taxes and undergo regular health exams. The city’s Red Light District is a virtual Disneyland of sex - with only European Union passport holders allowed to ply the trade.

But only a few miles’ drive from the city center, traditional Dutch tolerance is helping fuel the trafficking problem. In Theemsweg, a fenced-in, football field-sized parking lot built by the government for unregulated sex workers, girls sit in bus shelters - also courtesy of the government - waiting for clients. There are no EU citizens here - and the prostitutes’ countries of origin are strikingly familiar: Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic. On weekends, men looking for cheap sex wait in cars that back up for a mile. Sexual encounters, which take place right in the cars, cost $20.

Smuggled into Europe
Asked how she got to Theemsweg, 20-year-old Anna from Russia’s Far East said, “You don’t want to know.” Dutch police officials, speaking privately, estimate that as many as 70 percent of the prostitutes in the Netherlands are working illegally, using false documents provided by smugglers to skirt Dutch and European laws.

With the women facing poor odds, activists are working overtime to try to thwart traffickers and rescue some of the thousands of sex slaves in Europe. The International Organization for Migration, backed by U.S. funding, has managed to return only 400 of the perhaps hundreds of thousands of Moldovan women victimized by the sex trade. Activists are beating a path to rural areas to educate young girls about the dangers of the trade.

Twenty-one-year-old Natasha, a single mother, considers herself one of the lucky ones. She escaped Velesta, where her clients included NATO soldiers from Germany, France, Britain and the United States who were stationed in Macedonia for peacekeeping duties.

It was an Albanian client who took pity on Natasha and bought her from her owner for 5,000 Deutsche Marks, about $2,500. “Yes, I’m back in Moldova, but it’s difficult,” she said in a village three hours north of the Moldovan capital, Chisinau. “We do not have money to buy bread. We do not have money to pay for the electricity.”

For Olga, tending to her sore breast in captivity, anything sounds better than Velesta. “What kind of animal can do this to me?” she demanded, tears streaming down her face. “All of Macedonia is filled with girls like me, and we’re all crying.”

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