BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Friday, 17 November, 2000, 15:08 GMT
UN swoops on Kosovo sex trade
Prostitute
Many prostitutes said they were forced into the work
By Nicholas Wood in Pristina

Hundreds of UN peacekeeping troops and police in Kosovo have launched an operation to break up a series of prostitution rings in the province.

The raids targeted both Serbian and Albanian nightclubs and homes in the town of Kosovo Polje, near the regional capital Pristina.

Dozens of police and more than 200 British and Norwegian soldiers began the operation shortly after midnight local time, targeting 18 separate bars, hotels and apartments in Kosovo Polje.

In several cases soldiers equipped with sledgehammers were deployed to break down doors and sniffer dogs were then sent in to search for explosives.

Serbs and Albanians co-operate

Police say a total of 12 women, mostly from Moldova, were discovered during the operation, many of whom they say had been forced to work as prostitutes.

The women are being interviewed by detectives and preparations are already in place for some of them to be flown home.

While raids like this are not uncommon, the operation has highlighted the co-operation between Serbs and Albanians involved in the sex trade.

K-For officials say both communities were closely involved in the buying and selling of the women; seven people have been arrested.

Pimp's property

The trafficking of women to Kosovo has been prevalent ever since the United Nations took over the administration of the province 17 months ago.

Most of the victims come from Eastern Europe and are smuggled into Kosovo through Serbia and Macedonia.

They are bought and sold for as little as $500 each and remain the property of their pimp with little or no freedom of movement.

The UN has recently set up a special police unit to tackle the problem.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

24 May 00 | Europe
Kosovo sex slave trade warning
12 Mar 00 | Europe
Behind the Kosovo crisis
16 Mar 00 | Europe
Kosovo one year on
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories