A district prosecutor is demanding imprisonment for two men from the Czech Republic for aggravated human trafficking.Police suspect organised crime syndicates are involved in the human trafficking scheme.

A DISTRICT prosecutor is demanding imprisonment for two men from the Czech Republic for aggravated human trafficking for pandering a roughly 30-year-old woman for prostitution in Helsinki. The events began last November, when the men locked the victim in an apartment in her native Czech Republic before putting her on a plane to Finland. After her arrival, she was accommodated in a hotel room in central Helsinki, where she was pandered for prostitution for roughly a week’s time.

As alternative charges, the prosecutor is calling for punishments for aggravated pandering and aggravated bodily injury for the physical and psychological injuries inflicted.

Organised crime syndicates involved

According to the police, the two men communicated with the customers over the Internet and phone while being aided by a third suspect, whose identity and whereabouts remain unknown. The woman then received her instructions – regarding, for example, fees and the type of service requested – via Skype. The police believe international crime syndicates may be linked with the human sex trafficking scheme.

Meanwhile, the police have managed to get hold of a few of the woman’s approximately 50 customers but have no reason to think they were aware of the woman’s position as a victim of human trafficking.

Deceitful scheme

In court, the prosecutor insisted on the aggravated nature of the case, citing the treacherousness of the scheme and the distress experienced by the victim. In addition to the prison terms, the prosecutor is demanding the forfeiture of 5,000 euro in criminal profits, of which over 3,200 euro was seized by the police upon the capture of the offenders.

Human trafficking is considered aggravated whenever bodily injuries, serious illness, life-threatening condition or other considerable suffering are caused by negligence or premeditation. The punishments for aggravated human trafficking in Finland range from two years’ to ten years’ imprisonment.

Mikko Niemelä – STT