Criminals have been inventing new ways to victimize innocent people and make huge profits ever since the beginning of civilization. It doesn’t look like that will end anytime soon.
The oldest profession known to humanity is prostitution and usually, the worst victims of such a crime turn out to be the women and girls themselves, as they are forced into that profession by opportunistic, powerful men who lie about promises of a better life.
A prostitution ring that had gone on for at least eight years in the US and netting tens of millions of dollars was busted, resulting in 21 indictments on charges of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking, and conspiracy to engage in money laundering against 10 Thai nationals and 11 others (including Americans).
The New York Times reported:
Law enforcement authorities on Thursday announced federal sex-trafficking conspiracy charges against 21 people, part of what they described as one of the most elaborate and extensive sex-trafficking operations they had seen. The operation had gone on for at least eight years, netted tens of millions of dollars, and involved hundreds of women who were shuttled among American cities, sometimes every few weeks, the officials said.
“The women did not have freedom of movement and, until they paid off their bondage debts, were modern-day sex slaves,” an indictment unsealed on Thursday in Federal District Court in Minnesota said, laying out criminal counts against a long list of defendants, including conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in money laundering. Gregory Brooker, the acting United States attorney in Minnesota, described the ring as “a multimillion-dollar, modern-day organized crime operation.”
According to the eight-count indictment, the operation was intricate for its organization. Among those indicted were the people owed the bondage debts of the women brought from Bangkok. Others who were indicted served as “house bosses” in cities like Austin, Tex.; Chicago; Dallas; and Los Angeles, where they used apartments, hotels, houses and massage parlors for prostitution. Still others served as money launderers, putting cash returns into bank accounts, and facilitators, who took care of details like flying the women from city to city.
While still in Thailand, the women were usually told that they would work as prostitutes, the indictment said, but the terms of the deals shifted substantially once they arrived in the United States. Threats were made. Bondage debts suddenly skyrocketed. Some women were even told to have plastic surgery to make them more “appealing” to customers, then ordered to reimburse the cost of surgery as part of their ever-growing debt.
Forcing poor women into prostitution with the promise of a dream life in America is absolutely despicable. Nevertheless, it still goes on and the criminals get rich.
Although this operation was shut down we wonder how many others are still operating, victimizing women and taking in millions of dollars in profits.
Until this crime is eradicated completely, it will forever be a blight on humanity!
Source: The New York Times