Nine suspects in the Netherlands and Romania were arrested Thursday on charges that they were involved in human trafficking.
The Department of Aliens Police, Identification and Trafficking in Human Beings (AVIM) of the Rotterdam Police said four men in the Netherlands were arrested on January 30 along with one Romanian woman and four men in Constanta, on Romania’s Black Sea coast.
The suspects are accused of money laundering, extortion, and the unlawful deprivation of liberty and will be brought before a judge on Friday.
The two ringleaders of the human tracking group – a husband and wife – employed several others as drivers for the women that they forced into prostitution.
According to police reports, the victims, aged between 19 and 25, were recruited in Romania by the main suspect to work as prostitutes in the Netherlands.
In 2016, officials identified 757 trafficking victims in Romania. Of these victims, 78 percent were women 68 percent of which were sex trafficking victims. The Netherlands identified nearly 944 human trafficking victims in this same time period.
Current EU laws call for 13 to 15 years in prison for human trafficking.