Germany Smashes Massive Thai Sex-Trafficking Ring in ‘Biggest Ever’ Raids

German police officers during the Thai sex-trafficking raid on April 18, 2018, in Siegen, central Germany. PHOTO: South China Morning Post/AP

The ring ‘specialized’ in a niche for transsexual prostitutes

18 April 2018

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (AFP) — German federal police said they carried out the biggest raids in their history Wednesday against an alleged organised crime ring suspected of trafficking hundreds of women and transsexuals from Thailand for prostitution.

The federal police force said that a record 1,500 officers swooped on more than 60 brothels and flats in 12 of Germany’s 16 states.

Prosecutors have 56 suspects in their sights, 41 of them women.

Authorities say a “core group” of 17 suspects “smuggled Thai women and transsexuals into Germany with fraudulent” visas for the passport-free Schengen zone.

Those brought to Germany “had to hand over 100 per cent of their wages to the operators of the respective ‘massage parlours’ to pay off their smuggling fee”, an extortionate sum of between 16,000 and 36,000 euros (US$20,000-US$45,000).

Seven of the accused, including a 59-year-old Thai woman and her 62-year-old German partner, were taken into custody on outstanding arrest warrants. […]

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