Front page News Crime Police rescue sex slave
Police rescue sex slave
Monday, 27 June 2011 21:33 JB News
Young Lithuanian woman being held as sex slave manages to send email that leads to her rescue
[The note, penned by the woman and dictated by the friend in Latvia she managed to contact by email (Photo: Copenhagen Police)]
The note, penned by the woman and dictated by the friend in Latvia she managed to contact by email (Photo: Copenhagen Police)
A 19-year-old Lithuanian woman who was being held as a sex slave in Copenhagen has been found and freed by police after a tip off from Europol about her existence.
The woman had been held prisoner at an address in Copenhagen for several weeks where she was allegedly forced to prostitute herself, Copenhagen Police announced in a press release on Thursday.
When police finally found the woman, she handed them a hand-written note. It read – in halting English – that she was being held as a sex slave, that she could not speak English, that she needed help.
It was the woman herself who had gotten the police’s attention. She found a chance to send an email to a friend in Lithuania, telling him that she was being held prisoner in Denmark. She asked him to tell the Lithuanian police. She also asked him for the English words to write her help note.
On Monday last week Copenhagen Police received a message from the Lithuanian police through Europol that a Lithuanian woman was being held hostage somewhere in Copenhagen and being forced to prostitute herself. Another two days passed before Copenhagen Police were able to locate the address where she was being held.
“We got a description of the building that she was being held in from Europol. With a little local knowledge and some people watching on the street, we discovered the place,” Trine Møller Andersen, who leads the Copenhagen Police’s anti-human trafficking efforts, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
The woman was found in a wretched, cockroach-infested building. But, according to Andersen, she had not been physically harmed and had been given food and water.
A 36-year-old Lithuanian man, who was also living at the address, has been charged with human-trafficking and pimping. He was not known to Copenhagen Police before his arrest on Wednesday and had apparently come to Denmark at the same time as the woman.
Following her rescue, the woman told police through an interpreter that she met the man in Lithuania and that he had gotten her drunk and promised her she could get rich working as a prostitute in Denmark.
The two travelled to Denmark together. Then the man put her in the building where police found her and held her there. It was apparently also there that she was forced to serve sex customers and was paid a small fraction of the fee.
Police also found signs that the man was preparing to install a padlock on the woman’s bedroom door.
Following her rescue on Wednesday, the woman was staying at a crisis center. She said she wanted to return to Lithuania. Police said it would be several weeks before she would be able to go home.
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