Serbian police carried out a unique operation last week. The police conducted over 400 raids on night clubs and bars all over the country. They were looking for prostitutes, their pimps, and chiefs. The girls, who were forced to be involved in the sex industry, presumably originate from the republics of the former Soviet Union.
The BBC reported that there were over 150 people arrested, people involved in the sex industry, drugs, and the arms trade. In particular, it was possible to nab one of the major Serbian authorities of the cellar business, which is connected with prostitutes: Radu Shpalevic, a Montenegro resident, who had tortured the poor women with his threats.
The arrested prostitutes all claimed that they were innocent victims of fraud. The girls, who ran away from the poverty of the former Soviet Union and from Romania, were lured to Serbia with promises of a good job and wages, but then they were just put into the dens. This situation has been occuring for several years, from one client to another.
The majority of the prostitutes were released as a result of the operation. As a matter of fact, they did not say anything new or ground-breaking. It is well known that the drug trade and sexual commerce started flourishing in Serbia, Bosnia, and Macedonia after the break-up of Yugoslavia at the beginning of the 1990s. The government could not, or just did not, fight the business, so the soldiers and officers of the international peacemaking contingent in the Balkans started actively using the services of the prostitutes.
The Legal Center of OSCE in Pristina finally looked into the matter at the end of last year. The report from the center was basically on Kosovo, since it was the province where a major slave trade was gathering pace, like in the Middle Ages.
The center declared that there had been a network organized to deliver girls from Moldavia, Romania, Greece, Georgia, and Russia to Kosovo. Women under 25 years old are promised good jobs: models, guides, waitresses, or interpreters. When they arrive in Kosovo, all the documents are taken away from them, and they then sell the girls to the local “entrepreneurs” for DM 1000-3000. The girls had to work with up to 20 clients daily in the brothels of Kosovo, the number of which is growing almost daily; the owners of such “organizations” earn about DM 250 thousand from such buisness. Those prostitutes who survive Kosovo are then delivered to Albania or to the northwest of Macedonia. Those who try to escape are brutally tortured.
The conclusions are depressing, to put it mildly. They can fight with this illegal business in Serbia, but this idea will be spent for nothing in Kosovo.
Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov