Belgian police say they have uncovered and partly dismantled a criminal network that promised at least 4,000 people from the Philippines bright futures in Western Europe - for a price - and then took them to Italy where they were pressured into prostitution or manual labor.
By the end of October, 12 members of the network had been arrested in connection with the operation, and further arrests are expected, police said. Some of the suspects have been charged with “trade in human beings” under a 1995 law enacted to cope with the large-scale problem of trafficking in women who were tricked into prostitution.
Police said the group promised people lucrative jobs in Europe. But the emigrants usually were taken to Italy where the men were put to work in restaurant kitchens and quarries and the women got low-paying jobs as domestic workers or were pressured into prostitution.
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