[Stop-traffic] News/Italy: Italy Arrests Dozens of Albanians in Prostitution Ring

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/Italy: Italy Arrests Dozens of Albanians in Prostitution Ring
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Sep 18 2000 - 11:04:25 EDT


Source: Albanian Daily News
June 21, 2000

Italy Arrests Dozens of Albanians in Prostitution Ring

TIRANA - An Italian senior prosecutor said here on Tuesday that the police
                    forces should join forces to fight Albanian-Italian
criminal networks.

                    Prosecutor General Pier Luigi Vigna warned that Albanian
criminals in Italy
                    were growing stronger from their alliance with the local
mafia.

                    The Italian police arrested late Monday and early on
Tuesday 69 Albanians
                    involved in a prostitution ring in central and south
Italy. The criminal
                    organization dealt mainly with prostitution, but it also
controlled the distribution
                    of drugs in Italy's southern coast, Italian prosecutors
said.

                    Young Albanian girls were lured into Italy through
promises of good jobs and
                    then forced to prostitution. The girls were threatened
with physical violence or
                    warned that their relatives in Albania would be "punished
if they didn't
                    cooperate," prosecutors said.

                    The Italian police operation, code named Mimozat - the
Albanian word for
                    mimosa - involved 600 policemen and 150 vehicles in four
regions in central
                    and south Italy: Lazio, Campania, Apuglia, and Sicily.

                    The Italian interior minister Enzo Bianco hailed the
first "effective police
                    response" to the prostitution racket.

                    "This was an important operation, a blow at the heart of
the organisations that
                    deal with the slave-trade of girls forced into
prostitution," Bianco said on
                    Tuesday. "This is also the first effective by the police
response to my order to
                    fight back against this criminal activity."

                    The minister pledged "a determined fight" against
prostitution networks, and
                    said that other similar operations will follow. The
police also arrested on
                    Monday in a separate operation four in prostitution
network in Naples, two
                    Albanians, one Bulgarian woman and an Italian man. The
police detained six
                    prostitutes, coming from Albania, Romania, and Bulgaria.

                    Vigna met with Albanian top officials and urged their
cooperation in the fight
                    against illegal traffics. President Rexhep Meidani met
with Vigna and proposed
                    that a team of Italian investigators be established near
the Attorney General
                    office to share information on Albanian criminals
operating in Italy and
                    vice-versa.

Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

Please contact me off-list for any questions about Stop-Traffic at
<<morhant@igc.org>>.

Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health
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in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
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