Seven arrested in Eindhoven human trafficking case; 19 women forced into prostitution
The police arrested seven suspects in a massive human trafficking case in the Eindhoven region. The police believe the suspects were part of a criminal organization that forced at least 19 vulnerable women into sex work and took most of their earnings from them.
The arrests happened on February 1, but the police only released details about the investigation - called Harare - on Tuesday. The main suspect is a 38-year-old man with no fixed address. According to the police, the prime suspect trafficked vulnerable women for years. "It seems he had quite a few women working for him over different periods. He likely made money from this. Although the suspect has no legal income, he leads a lavish life," the police said.
So far, the police have identified 19 victims. Some do not speak Dutch, some have no legal residency status in the Netherlands, some struggle with addiction and debts. The police are investigating whether there are more victims.
The police seized multiple cars, money, expensive designer clothes, an expensive watch, televisions, and other luxury items "with a lot of value" when the suspects were arrested. "Crime should not pay," the police said. "That is why we made efforts at an early stage to seek compensation for the damage suffered by the victims. The confiscation of criminal assents is a valuable tool in the fight against crime."
The seven arrested suspects face charges of human trafficking, money laundering, and participation in a criminal organization. They'll appear in court for a pro-forma hearing on May 17. The police also questioned four other suspects and arrested another on suspicion of facilitating sexual exploitation. More arrests may follow in this case, the police said.