More than a dozen people were arrested in London and Romania on Wednesday in an investigation into a criminal group suspected of smuggling women into the UK for sexual exploitation, the court said. London police.
British investigators acted in partnership with the Romanian national police and the judicial cooperation agency Eurojust.
The group is accused of having organized human trafficking from Romania to the United Kingdom via "ads posted on various escort sites" in London, according to Romanian prosecutors.
Operating since 2012, “the suspects have earned around 3 million euros by exploiting the victims, who were subjected to acts of violence against them or their families”, detailed the anti-mafia prosecution (DIICOT) in a press release.
He cites the example of a 17-year-old girl "who had sex with one of the alleged criminals, who made a video and used it to blackmail her."
Investigators believe the proceeds were then laundered by British banks before being paid into Romanian accounts for the benefit of senior members of the criminal group.
In London, investigators arrested two men and four women, aged 25 to 39, and seized a samurai sword, drugs, cash and high-value property during searches in the Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Camden.
In addition, two women, both of Romanian nationality, were found inside the raided accommodation and will receive support and medical care.
In Romania, seven men and one woman were arrested. The national police seized four cars, worth approximately 250,000 euros, and requested the seizure of assets totaling 1 million euros.
"Unfortunately, this kind of exploitation still happens in London," London Police Detective Inspector Jim Madden said in a statement.
“As seen in this case, we are working closely with national and international partners to share intelligence and identify and arrest criminals who profit from the exploitation of vulnerable people,” he added.