December 15, 2015
Shelter for victims of human trafficking to open in South Dakota
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - An abandoned motel in central South Dakota is being transformed into a shelter for female victims of human trafficking.
KCCR-AM reports the 14-bed shelter will open in early 2016 in Chamberlain. It will be run by a nonprofit based on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Lisa Heth is the executive director of the group Wiconi Wawokiya. She says a grant will be used to hire three employees who will oversee the shelter and work with the victims.
The two-floor building is being renamed as the Pathfinder Center. The first floor will have a recreational area, kitchen, classrooms and a spiritual room. All bedrooms will be in the second floor.
Heth says the facility will assist victims from across the state.
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December 16, 2015
Thai PM: I will punish those who threatened human trafficking whistleblower
Thailand's junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha has called for a whistleblowing police officer who fled to Australia to return, promising to punish influential figures the officer said want to kill him for exposing their role in human trafficking.
“Tell me now, who threatened you? It is no matter how big they are, I will have them punished,” Prayuth told reporters.
Police Major General Paween Pongsirin told Guardian Australia and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last week that he was in Melbourne to claim political asylum after he found senior members in the military and police were involved in the illicit trade.
“I don't understand why he [Paween] has to flee and seek political asylum in Australia. He should come home to file lawsuits against the alleged persons,” Prayuth added.
On Monday, Thailand's deputy head of the attorney general's human trafficki... [more]
NBC 6 South Florida
December 15, 2015
Man Sentenced for Human Trafficking Ring in South Florida
A man convicted in a human trafficking ring in South Florida learned just how much his life of crime will cost him.
The victim of the Hungarian sex trafficking ring gave an emotional plea Tuesday during the sentencing of his abuser.
"I was mostly afraid of Victor Berki and Andras Vass," one of the trafficking victims said. "This totally has had an unchangeable impact on my life."
Andras Vass together with Victor Berki, both Hungarian nationals, were luring young men into the United States with promises of a better life. But that better life turned out to be sexual exploitation and slavery.
A jury found Vass guilty of human trafficking in April.
"I got revved up with such people who are not law-abiding people," Vass said. He asked for forgiveness and apologized to the victims.
"Sentenced to 140.55 months in Florida state prison," said Judge Richard Hersch, Miam... [more]
December 1, 2015
FBI agent: Cabbie acting as informant shuttled money, prostitutes for St. Martin spa
Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/news/local/crime/article47423875.html#storylink=cpy
GULFPORT -- A St. Martin spa saw at least 50 prostitutes pass through its doors in a five-month period, according to testimony in federal court Tuesday.
The spa manager, Yeon Sook "Jackie" Hwang, is accused of bringing women to Mississippi from other states to work as sex slaves.
U.S. District Magistrate Judge John C. Gargiulo ordered her held without bond Tuesday during a detention hearing in U.S. District Court. She will remained jailed until her Jan. 4 trial.
Hwang was heading up operations at JJ Spa and the 777 Spa, at the same location in a strip mall on North Washington Avenue, when she was taken into custody earlier this month. She is being held on federal charges of transporting women across state lines for prostitution, conspiracy to commit money la... [more]