Five arrested in forced prostitution investigation

Police guard in a detention center
Police guard in a detention centerPhoto: Politie

The police in eastern Netherlands recently arrested five suspects in an investigation into human trafficking and forced prostitution. The five men are suspected of involvement in exploiting two women, aged 23 and 42, by forcing them to work as prostitutes for around 4 months, the police said in a statement.

The  police launched this investigation in August 2019, when one of the victims managed to get away in Zwolle and call in help. The second victim came forward a short time later. The police also received reports of dodgy situations from some of the victims' clients.

The women worked from various hotels and a few homes in the Netherlands. The suspects booked the hotel rooms using stolen cards. A few hotels also notified the police once they received complaints from the rightful owners of the cards. 

The two prime suspects are 34 and 24 years old and have no permanent place of residence. According to the police, they forced the women to prostitute themselves through violence and threats of violence. The other three suspects, a 38-year-old from Arnhem and two men aged 42 and 38 from Tiel, are suspected of human trafficking and payment fraud. 

The two prime suspects are still in custody. The other three were released after questioning, but remain suspects in the case.