Man and woman arrested for Latin American sex worker trafficking
A man and a woman have been arrested in connection with smuggling people from Latin America to the Netherlands to work as prostitutes, the public prosecution department said on Monday.
The 62-year-old woman from Amsterdam, and 69-year-old man from Weert are thought to be part of a human trafficking ring, particularly involving transgender people.
The woman is said to have organised places for the sex workers to stay and work in return for a ‘substantial portion’ of their earnings. She has been remanded in custody for two weeks. The man acted as a driver and has been released from custody.
The public prosecution department said in a statement that the sex workers did not speak good Dutch or English and were in a vulnerable position.
‘In general, they were available seven days a week, 24 hours a day for what was often risky sex,’ the department said in a statement. After a week in one location, they were often moved on to a new one, which prevented them from building up networks, the department said.
The department estimates some 700 transgender sex workers are currently working in the Netherlands, although the real total may be far higher. Many transgender people from Latin America come to Europe in the hope of a better life, the department said.
Police have now contacted all 1,600 names listed in her telephone help and offered the sex workers help.
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