Slave Trade Exposed: Romanian Human Trafficker Ran Irish Brothlels

31 Aug

Slave trade: Romanian trafficker ran brothels in Irish cities

IT IS a simple transaction. Men pay and women sell their bodies in towns and cities up and down this country.

Then the punters walk out the door and close off any thought as to the lives of the women they have left behind.

In some cases, these men even rush to internet discussion boards to rate their experiences.

The women concerned often have a very different duty to fulfil, however.

From one case being played out in the Romanian courts, it would appear that many women — in brothels located mainly in Galway and Dublin — had to quickly prepare for the arrival of a dedicated lieutenant from a notorious East European criminal gang.

This lieutenant had been tasked with calling to brothels across Dublin and Galway and collecting the gang’s cut of the proceeds.

After gathering the cash from various women — who had often been blackmailed and trafficked to Ireland — this man would bring the loot back to Romania to be split up among gang members, who were micro-managed by a violent criminal locked in prison.

This flow of money forms the backbone of the case against Florin Nicolae Ghinea, an international trafficker and pimp, and seven associates.

Their arrests followed the arrest of 23 people by detectives in Romania five months ago.

This gang was monitored with wire taps by police in Romania, in close co-operation with the Gardaí.

The information gleaned during this surveillance, along with separate records from Romanian authorities, has helped to throw fresh light on the brutality of a growing trade in young women brought to this country to supply a burgeoning sex industry.

Figures supplied to the Irish Examiner show 38 people are known to have been smuggled into Ireland by Romanian criminals between 2007 and 2010. These were brought here to either work as prostitutes, to beg or to be exploited by black-market employers.

A detailed analysis of the trafficking reveals:

*In 2007, there were nine victims.

*In 2008, there were 17 victims.

*In 2009, there were four victims, all of whom were sexually exploited.

*In 2010, there were eight victims, three of whom were sexually exploited.

Put alongside data from the Department of Justice’s anti-trafficking unit, this means 47% of European trafficking victims were from Romania.

However, trends suggest the market is being taken over by Nigerian traffickers.

Last year, Gardaí opened 69 inquiries into the cases of 78 individuals.

Of these, 38% (30 cases) came from the west coast of Africa.

Data from Ruhama, the charity that works with women affected by prostitution and human trafficking, shows that in 2010 it dealt with more Nigerian prostitutes (51) than any other nationality, including Irish (31). Half of all trafficking victims it saw were Nigerian.

However, figures have also shown the difficulty prosecuting cases of trafficking in Ireland.

Of the cases reported to Gardaí last year, 35 were still ongoing at the end of the year.
 There were two convictions, but 14 investigations closed because of insufficient evidence. www.garda.ie & www.stopthetraffik.org

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