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Wednesday, March 11, 1998 Published at 04:58 GMT

World: Europe

Sex crime problems peak in Germany
image: [ Hamburg's sex industry is becoming a slave trade ]
Hamburg's sex industry is becoming a slave trade

In recent months, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of crimes carried out by gangs from Eastern Europe in central European cities.

The head of Interpol has told the BBC that the European Union will lose the fight against organised crime, unless governments increase the budget for tackling it.

[ image: Interpol's Secretary General Raymond Kendal:
Interpol's Secretary General Raymond Kendal: "Not enough resources"
Interpol's Secretary General Raymond Kendall, said: "There's no comparison between the resources the enemy has and the resources we have. I think there has to be a balance to make it a more equal battle."

One of their main targets - Germany's lucrative sex industry - is succumbing to a new form of white slavery.

In Hamburg, Russian prostitutes have been smuggled in by criminals keen to expand their profitable empires.

Police have found Russian women kept almost as slaves by criminals desperate to increase their share of the profitable sex market.

Although the authorities are conducting nightly raids, they lack the money to launch serious attempts to fight back on a big scale.

There is no sign that the tactic being used - high profile policing - is acting as a deterrent.

In the past month alone, four officers have been shot dead by gangs attempting to protect their business.

While the international police are poorly resourced, and the sex business so lucrative, there is scant chance of stamping out the sex trade.

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