Viennese police arrest nine for human trafficking
May 18, 2007, 12:15 GMT
Vienna - Nine members of an international gang of human traffickers forcing young women into prostitution were arrested in Vienna.
The men, all of them Turkish citizens aged between 32 and 43, were arrested on Monday after several months of police investigation, Georg Rabensteiner of the Vienna police department said.
At least 20 women from Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria were brought to Austria for prostitution. It remained unclear how long the trafficking gang had been operated, as neither perpetrators nor victims are cooperating with the police.
The most puzzling aspect of the lengthy investigation was the discovery of a chain bound doll with a bloody knife stuck into it. The doll, wearing a 'Scream' mask was found in a basement of one of the bars the gang used as a meeting point.
Police assumed it was used to scare the victims into submission. 'We don't know exactly, but believe it was used to 'motivate' the girls,' Rabensteiner said.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur