The Journal News
February 25, 2011
Alleged pimp indicted on charges of sex trafficking
The reputed Miami pimp accused in a human trafficking case has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Nicholas Alvarez, 35, faces a possible life sentence if convicted of the most serious charges — kidnapping and sex trafficking by force — contained in the four-count indictment returned Friday by the federal panel in White Plains.
Alvarez has been held without bail since his arrest Feb. 3 by Westchester County police after the van he was driving in was pulled over on the Saw Mill River Parkway in Yonkers. The routine traffic stop — the van did not have a rear license plate and turned out to be stolen — eventually led police to uncover that the three women riding in the blue minivan with Alvarez had been forced into prostitution and endured two months of beatings and threats, police said.
Alvarez and the women were on their way to an Elmsford motel to set up shop for several day... [more]
Radio Netherlands Worldwide
February 26, 2011
Nigerian women forced into Italian prostitution
Thousands of Nigerian women are forced into prostitution in Italy. That is the alarming conclusion of Be Free, an association in Rome that tries to help victims of human trafficking.
Most of them originate from the region Niger delta, in Southwest Nigeria and left with the idea of a better life in Europe, but end up in prostitution. Monica is one of those women.
Monica is 19 years old but her frail physique and the shy look on her face makes her seem younger. She left Benin City, in South west Nigeria, almost five years ago to try and find a better life in Europe. Before the interview starts she wants to say something to girls in Nigeria, hoping they don't make the same mistakes she made: “Don't believe anybody. They'll bring you to place where you don't belong and they don't care about you. The only thing they care about is money.”
When Monica left Nigeria she was told... [more]
Pattaya Daily News
February 25, 2011
Chinese-Taiwanese Surrogate Mum Gang Busted
Immigration Bureau have caught the Chinese-Taiwanese gang that deceived and detained Vietnam women, forcing them into surrogate pregnancy serving rich foreign clients.
Bangkok, 23rd February[PDN] At 6.00 pm a team of Immigration police led by Maj. Gen. Wiboon Bangthamai, Immigration Police Commissioner and Maj. Gen. Momluang Phansak Kasemsan, Immigration Police Deputy Commissioner, conjoined with Ministry of Social Development and Human Security officers to arrest a gang of fraudsters for committing human trafficking offences at Baby 101 Ltd.79/246, Thararom Village, Soi 150, Ramkhamhaeng Raod, Saphansung, Bangkok. The arrested suspects are Miss Chern Pai Wan (35), Chinese-Taiwanese national; Mr. Chai Lin Ee (26), Chinese-Taiwanese national; Mr. Zu Ui Chian (31), Chinese-Taiwanese national; Mr. Lu Khai (27), Chinese national; and Miss Chai Yu Yun (25), Chinese-Taiwanese national. In additi... [more]
The Arizona Republic
February 20, 2011
Human trafficking is targeted in Arizona; problem is growing
Human trafficking is not human smuggling.
But law enforcement and civic groups say it is a problem nationwide, and more Arizonans will hear that message as experts try to increase public awareness of the problem.
What is it? Simply put, forcing people against their will to work for others' profit. It could be a prostitute walking the streets for a pimp. It could be a cowering immigrant toiling in a sweatshop in a state of indentured servitude.
A massive effort to alter public perception of the nature and extent of the problem is under way. But it is complicated by the fact that human trafficking is often intertwined with - and hard to distinguish from - the more commonly recognized problems of illegal immigration and prostitution.
Many victims are like "Chantel Rice," a young Phoenix woman who became a prostitute at 16 at the behest of her boyfriend and ended up... [more]
The News Tribune
February 15, 2011
Tacoma men plead guilty to human trafficking
Two Tacoma men have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to forcing young women and teenagers to work as prostitutes.
Christopher Lewis and Lashad Alexander, both 24, entered pleas to single counts of human trafficking last week, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle reported today.
Federal prosecutors contend the men facilitated the women's prostitution by providing them transportation, cell phones and motel rooms and kept them in line with threats, a news release states.
Lakewood police arrested Alexander in March 2010 after a 17-year-old girl called her brother to say she was being held against her will in a motel. She told police Alexander was a pimp who forced her to sell her body to strangers, the release states.
Lewis also is accused of pimping a juvenile girl. He faces nine years in federal prison when sentenced in May.
Alexander faces a sentence of seven to 12 years.
Voice of America News
February 15, 2011
US, Ukraine Pledge To Combat Human Trafficking
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Ukrainian counterpart have pledged increased efforts to combat human trafficking in Ukraine. In a recent report, the U.S. said Ukraine is increasingly becoming a destination country for victims of trafficking.
Secretary of State Clinton and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko met at the State Department Monday to sign a cooperation plan on combating human trafficking. Clinton said the two countries are making progress on the issue.
"The recent repatriation from Ukraine to the United States of a trafficker accused of taking more than $1 million in profits from the women he exploited is just one way we are working to end this tragic worldwide blight," said Secretary Clinton.
The U.S. ranked Ukraine as a second-tier country in its 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report. That ranking means the government in Kyiv does not f... [more]
Radio Free Asia
February 11, 2011
Raid Frees Teenage Sex Slaves
Police have rescued five Lao teenage girls from a restaurant in central Thailand's Suphan Buri province where they were forced to work as prostitutes, in the latest human trafficking case involving the two neighboring Southeast Asian nations.
Laos is primarily a source country for women and girls trafficked mostly to Thailand for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor as domestic or factory workers, government and relief officials say.
Thai police said the girls were rescued in a raid on a karaoke bar and restaurant in Dan Chang district on Thursday. Three Thais were also arrested in the crackdown, thanks to a tip-off from a nongovernmental organization.
“We received a tip off from an NGO and when we went there to verify the information, we found it was as the organization had reported,” a police officer from a Thai anti-human trafficking squad told RFA.
“There are many girls working at ... [more]
February 10, 2011
Two human trafficking suspects arrested
Two Chinese women suspected of involvement in a human trafficking ring were arrested and two others who were being held captive were rescued in Goodwood, the City of Cape Town said on Thursday.
The pair face charges of kidnapping and assault and were expected to appear in the Bellville Magistrates Court on Friday, said assistant police chief Nathan Ladegourdie.
After an investigation, police swooped on a massage parlour that had been operating as a brothel.
Two women, aged 25 and 29, who were found tied up with nylon straps, were being forced to work as prostitutes.
To read more:
The Epoch Times
February 8, 2011
Additional Indictments in Thai Human Trafficking Case
A federal grand jury in Honolulu indicted Joseph Knoller and Bruce Schwartz, on Jan. 14, as co-conspirators in an arrangement to compel 400 Thai nationals in service as agricultural workers in Hawaii and elsewhere, bringing the total number of formally charged conspirators in the Global Horizons Manpower Inc. trafficking case to eight, six of whom were indicted last September, including the Global Horizon's President Mordechai Orian. Schwartz is also charged with four counts of forced labor and document servitude.
According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to extract coerced labor from hundreds of Thai agricultural workers from 2001 to 2007 by using false promises to trap the workers in insurmountable debt and used a combination of blackmail and other mechanisms to hold workers to the services of Global Horizons and its agribusiness clients.
If convicted, Orian faces ... [more]
Star Local News
February 8, 2011
Two Plano residents accused of human trafficking
A federal grand jury in Dallas has indicted five defendants, including two Plano residents, alleging they conspired to force a Sri Lankan woman into slave labor.
Nagham Hassan Burgotti, 30, and her husband, Adam Mohammad Barguthi, 40, of Plano were arrested on Friday on felony charges of forced labor conspiracy and related counts. On Monday, they pleaded not guilty to the charges before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez.
Although the federal grand jury returned the seven-count indictment on Dec. 1, 2010, the indictment remained sealed until Tuesday. The indictment also charges Mohammad Arefah Abuwad, 40, who was arrested on Friday by federal agents in Houston, where he remains in custody. His wife, Lowana Mohammad Awad, 36, and another defendant, Huthaifa Ahmad Albarghuthi, 66, have not been arrested.
All five of the defendants hold dual U.S. and Jordanian citizenships.
The g... [more]
February 9, 2011
Twin brothers get 4 years for sex trafficking
Twin brothers from Dolton have pleaded guilty and were each sentenced to four years in prison for forcing young women into prostitution in the south suburbs, prosecutors said this morning.
Tyrelle and Myrelle Lockett, 18, pleaded guilty in the Markham courthouse Tuesday to felony charges of human trafficking for forced labor or services after an undercover sting operation found that they forced young women, including one underage victim, to perform sex acts with men for money, according to a news release.
In the sting, sheriff's police officers met with Tyrelle Lockett in a Lansing motel after they answered an Internet ad placed by the Locketts, authorities said.
To read more:
February 4, 2011
Women open human trafficking symposium at University of Michigan by detailing personal stories
Nicole was 10 when a woman came to her parents' house in the African country of Ghana, offering what seemed like paradise — a better future and an American education.
Nicole was thrilled. It seemed her dreams had come true.
But instead, long days braiding hair in a New Jersey shop turned into long weeks and months. Five years passed, and Nicole was forbidden from even greeting her neighbors as they passed on the street.
“It was the shop, then the house, then the shop, then the house,” Nicole told a crowd of more than 150 University of Michigan students, professors and community members Friday night as “Successes and Failures in International Human Trafficking Law,” a Michigan Journal of International Law symposium kicked off. The symposium continues Saturday.
Nicole and Dede — not their real names — spoke at today's event. They're both cli... [more]
February 8, 2011
Fla. man accused of human trafficking after van stop in Westchester
A missing license plate led to a human trafficking case and a Florida man being charged with forcing three women into prostitution.
Nicholas Alvarez, 35, of Miami was accused of illegally transporting the women for sex after a Westchester County police officer stopped a van he was riding in on the Saw Mill River Parkway in Yonkers.
Police said Alvarez is accused of transporting the three women to an Elmsford motel to set up shop for several days.
Violence and threats against their family members were used to keep the women working for him, police said.
"These women were extremely fearful of Alvarez, but we were able to establish trust with them after many hours of interviewing," Westchester County Police Commissioner George Longworth said.
Longworth called human trafficking a growing problem and said that instruction on the topic would be added to the d... [more]
February 1, 2011
VIETNAM: Trafficking victims lured by “friendly” acquaintances
Last year an ostensibly friendly woman asked Nguyen Thi Ha* if the 23-year-old felt like leaving Vietnam to work in China.
Nguyen Thi Ha was intrigued by promises she could earn 6-7 times more selling clothes there than the US$50 per month she was making at home. She never thought the woman, a relative of a friend, would attempt to sell her and two other Vietnamese women into commercial sex work.
“If I had known that, I wouldn't have gone,” Nguyen, whom Vietnamese police later rescued from China, told IRIN.
Between 2004 and 2009, Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) reported nearly 3,000 Vietnamese victims of human trafficking, which is criminalized under Vietnamese law.
Most are sent to countries in Asia, Western Europe and the Middle East for sexual exploitation, or forced to work in factories or elsewhere, according to 2010 data from the UN Inter-Agency Project o... [more]