[Stop-traffic] News/Montenegro: Trafficking in Montenegro

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/Montenegro: Trafficking in Montenegro
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sat Nov 11 2000 - 19:39:27 EST


Montenegro to crack down on human trafficking
The Associated Press
11 Dec 2000

PODGORICA, Yugoslavia, Dec. 10 - Montenegro will step up efforts to
block a major human trafficking route from Asia and Eastern Europe to
Western Europe that passes through the small Yugoslav republic, a
government official said Sunday.

Montenegro's deputy interior minister, Vladimir Cejovic, said the
government had arrested and deported more than 700 illegal immigrants
over the past six years, mostly women from China, Moldova, Romania,
Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Many had been working as prostitutes in
Montenegro, harboring hopes of being able to cross illegally into
Italy or another European Union country.

Wars, lawlessness and corruption that raged here during the 1990s
triggered a huge crime wave, including trafficking in humans, many of
whom were forced into prostitution.

At a two-day seminar on human trafficking, Cejovic said that the
international isolation of Yugoslavia during the regime of former
President Slobodan Milosevic had generated much human trafficking.

Ties with Interpol and similar international organizations were
severed and Yugoslavia had virtually no cooperation with police from
other countries.

The problem was made more complicated when the former Milosevic
government began issuing visas to a large number of Chinese citizens
who entered Yugoslavia legally and then often sought ways to reach
Western Europe.

Dozens of Yugoslav citizens have also been arrested for organizing
the smuggling of illegal aliens, which involved ferrying people
across the Adriatic to Italy in speedboats.

In efforts to curb the illegal movement of people, Cejovic said
Montenegro is increasing cooperating with Italian police and with
neighboring Albania, another key country in the human trafficking
chain.

He said that last month 21 Yugoslavs were arrested for being involved
in murky deals under which dozens of young women from Moldova,
Romania and Ukraine were sold to owners of Albanian brothels, some
for as little as 1,000 German marks ($450).

"We will step up efforts to stop that and we also hope to be able to
completely block the illegal trade across the Adriatic sea," Cejovic
said.
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