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Court Thai woman jailed for running human trafficking ring

Shop window of a porn cinema

Many victims were forced to be available 24 hours a day to repay up to CHF30,000 ($30,000) in debts.

(Keystone)

A court has sentenced a 58-year old Thai woman to more than ten years in jail in one of the biggest human trafficking cases in Switzerland.

The woman was found guilty on 75 counts of smuggling mostly poor and uneducated Thai women into the country, according to the regional court of Biel/Bienne.

The defendant was also sentenced for several other crimes, including the promotion of prostitution and money laundering.

Announcing the verdict on Wednesday, the presiding judge said the defendant had been running a complex, professionally structured and inhumane scheme in several regions of Switzerland between 2009 and 2014 when she was arrested.

The prosecution said most of the victims were aware they would be employed as sex workers in Switzerland but were not prepared for the extremely harsh conditions, and that they were forced to pay back travel debts.

The defendant partly admitted guilt during the ten-day trial.

Several similar prostitution rings have come to light in recent years, but experts believe the problem is much bigger than what has been uncovered.

Prostitution is a regulated trade in Switzerland, but trafficking, forcing people into prostitution and most forms of pimping are illegal.


swissinfo.ch with SDA-ATS/ug

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