Wednesday, September 28, 2005

article:'[Dutch] Police ignores human trafficking'

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Today it's Oktober 10, 2005.

This news-article is very recent. I translated this from the Dutch newspaper the "NRC-handelsblad".

‘Police ignores human trafficking’

By one of our respondents

Amsterdam, Oktober 1, 2005. On de Wallen in Amsterdam [Red-light district] ‘loverboys’ and pimps are trafficking in human beings with impunity while the police are standing by. That’s what two police officers of the police office in the Beursstraat say, one of them is working somewhere else on his own request within the police system.

Both officers are only allowed to point out problems and refer that to police-investigators of the youth and vice squad. They [of the vice squad] state that there are too many cases and there’s too little capacity.

“We are in the middle of modern slavery here”, says Ron, who until recently was a vice inspector on de Wallen in Amsterdam.

“We can’t cope with the daily confrontation with women who are in fact being raped anymore”, says his colleague Hans.

The police is not doing enough to stop forced prostitution and all it’s excesses, according to the police officers. The officers don’t want their names in the paper, because on several occasions they have been threatened by criminals.

“After 5 years after the lifting of the ban on brothels it has to be established that the goals of that law have not been met”, says the mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen. “Lately there are more and more signals that abuses are still taking place.” Cohen promises to come up with ‘additional policy’.

Since the legalisation in 2000 prostitution is a normal profession, controlled by local authorities and the police. The law against pimping was removed from the penal code. De Wallen in Amsterdam are a million-dollar industry with a yearly turnover of 83 million euros.

On de Wallen there are two groups of pimps, the loverboys and a group known as ‘the Turks’. They [‘the Turks’] do a lucrative trade in women from the Eastern bloc. According to officer Ron “everywhere in the Netherlands” accusations of abused women are “collecting dust”. In Januari 2003 a team of 4 men was investigating the Turkish group. “The investigation turned out to be a gigantic fiasco”, says Ron. Investigations are not allowed to last longer than three months. In June, the four investigators were told by their bosses to stop this case. Some arrests were being made, but the public prosecutor thought the evidence against the detainees was too thin.

also read:
Slave trade on de Wallen

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