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Police tackle illegal prostitution in Carinthia

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Red light district. File photo: APA
15:51 CEST+02:00
Austrian law enforcement authorities, with the support of Europol, have identified 11 potential victims of human trafficking and reported ten people for illegal prostitution in Carinthia.

Authorities checked 360 prostitutes, mainly from Eastern Europe, and 40 associated individuals. 

As well as focusing on illegal prostitution, police also carried out checks on legal brothels to identify victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, and the criminal networks involved.

This was the first result of a long-running investigation into an organised crime group involved in trafficking young women for sexual exploitation from Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans into Western European countries.

The investigation was launched in 2013 when the activities of the criminal group were detected across different European countries.

Austrian authorities cooperated with teams in Germany, Romania and Switzerland, according to Europol.

Approximately 80% of the prostitutes working in Carinthia are of Romanian origin, and a Romanian liaison police officer was also present during the operation.

Carinthia has a booming legal brothel business - with an influx of men travelling over the border from Italy where prostitution is illegal. 

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