– Ganesh Pandey
SEF has dismantled a European network on Tuesday for alleged human trafficking, criminal association, aggravated pimping and money laundering. Eight foreigners were arrested in a criminal group that exploited women sexually. The suspects were arrested in Aveiro, Albergaria-a-Velha, Ílhavo and Gafanha da Nazaré.
In the “El Pibe” operation, the SEF executed eight arrest warrants and carried out 12 house searches and 12 searches for vehicles, seizing six vehicles, gold, jewelry, money and false documents. During the operation, two searches were carried out money transfer agencies and a travel agency.
This group, which operated not only in Portugal but in other European Union countries, took advantage of the vulnerability of victims, often in unstructured families with low economic income and low self-esteem, with episodes of domestic violence and consumption alcohol and narcotic drugs.
The victims, all women, did not practice prostitution of their own free will, “being obliged and deprived of their human dignity”, according to the SEF, adding that “they were used as objects to make money, in order to pay debts and ‘commissions’ imposed by the leader of the criminal association, violating their human dignity unscrupulously, and are thus considered and treated as ‘things’ or ‘objects’ that provide a large financial income, “as SEF investigations have found, .
“Because they did not have family support and did not have secure relationships, exploiters took advantage of these weaknesses to increase their powers of persuasion, manipulation and intimidation,” the SEF explains.
The SEF investigation began in December last year and was carried out in liaison with Europol in order to ensure a transnational fight against this phenomenon. In the “El Pibe” operation, 110 members of the SEF inspection and inspection career, Europol analysts and members of similar authorities from European Union countries participated, with the collaboration of members of the Multidisciplinary Victim Support Team, to ensure protection and support about 20 women who were signaled.
The detainees will be handed over today to the PSP Metropolitan Command of Lisbon, in Lisbon, where they will be detained until they are present to the judicial authorities to carry out the first judicial interrogation and application of the respective coercion measures.