The Tennessean Gannett
August 30, 2011
Man accused of forcing women into prostitution
A Georgia 18-year-old was arrested for allegedly forcing four women to engage in prostitution in Nashville after traveling with him from Atlanta.
Prontiss Houseworth, 18, of Conyers, Ga., is accused of threatening to kill the four women and their families if they did not follow his demands, according to the Metro Police Department. One woman claimed Houseworth hit her and duct taped her hands and mouth with duct tape.
Houseworth is facing four counts of trafficking for sexual servitude, one count of promoting prostitution, and one count of carrying a prohibited weapon, which police stated were brass knuckles.
Metro Police began investigating Friday when an undercover officer responded to an ad posted on a website.
The officer was told to come to the Knights Inn on Spring Street and a deal was made with two women to perform sex acts for a total price of $200.
When the offi... [more]
August 30, 2011
Spotlight on...California law on supply chain transparency
Apparel retailers and brands are already closely scrutinised on corporate social responsibility issues across their supply chains - but a new law coming into force in January adds another dimension to the accountability of large retailers and manufacturers trading with the US state of California.
In just five months time, on 1 January 2012, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act will go into effect. This will require large retailers and manufacturers doing business in the US state to disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their product supply chains.
Companies impacted by the legislation will include apparel and footwear retailers and manufacturers with annual worldwide gross receipts of more than US$100m - who must make the required disclosures on the home page of their corporate websites.
An estimated 3,200 companies worldwide will be... [more]
August 29, 2011
Quincy sex slave case factor in push for human trafficking law
BOSTON — Attorney General Martha Coakley is highlighting Massachusetts' poor rating by an anti-human trafficking group which has criticized the state for being one of only four in the country without laws to prosecute labor and sexual servitude.
The Polaris Project ranked states based on the presence or absence of 10 categories of state laws that it believes are critical to a comprehensive anti-trafficking legal framework.
Massachusetts and eight other states – Alaska, Colorado, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming – received the lowest rating.
“This report highlights the fact that Massachusetts is well behind the rest of the nation in our laws to combat human trafficking. The passage of a human trafficking law would give us the tools to go after those who are exploiting children and other victims right in our own communities,” Coakley said in... [more]
August 25, 2011
Human trafficking ring used girls as young as 12, Cook County prosecutors say
Dozens of girls, some as young as 12, were forced into prostitution by a human trafficking ring that kept its victims in line with brutal means that included beatings, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said Wednesday
The girls and dozens more adult women were recruited on CTA trains, the Internet or in random meetings on the street, Alvarez said. Many were either homeless or runaways, she said.
Following a yearlong, multiagency investigation dubbed "Little Girl Lost," nine people have been charged in the case under provisions of a state anti-human-trafficking law passed last year.
"While it's often perceived really as just an international issue and not a domestic issue, when we talk about human trafficking, the domestic sex trafficking of minors is something that occurs right here in our very own community," Alvarez said. "It's also something th... [more]
Inquirer Global Nation
August 24, 2011
Encounter with a child trafficker
(Philippines) In its July 1, 2011 annual Trafficking in Persons Report, the US State Department announced that it had elevated the Philippines to “Tier 2” status — countries that do not fully meet standards on human trafficking but are making efforts to do so. The Philippines had faced a cutoff of US assistance if it remained (Tier 3) unresponsive in fighting human trafficking.
While most of the attention has been focused on the trafficking of Filipino women to work as indentured prostitutes abroad, the issue of child trafficking at home has been largely ignored although it is a booming business where children are often lured from remote villages with promises of high-paying jobs in Manila.
According to a 2009 report by Santosh Digal in AsiaNews, child labor is “a curse that touches the lives of about four million Filipino children … victims of prostitution rings, sex slaves for hire, forced to... [more]
August 23, 2011
Czech police charge Nigerian black magic sex gang
Czech police say they have charged a group of Nigerians who are alleged to have headed a trafficking and prostitution ring which brought in at least 25 young girls to the country and forced them to work in brothels, mostly located on the frontier with Germany and Austria but also in the capital, Prague.
Three men and three women have been charged with trafficking and forging passports and other documents used by the gang, which operated from the middle of 2009.
The gang's victims were girls aged between 18 and 25 who were promised secure jobs in Europe as hairdressers or in the hospitality sector. But on arriving in the continent they were presented with bills of around €50,000 for travel and forged documents. When they couldn't pay, they were forced into the sex trade under the threat of violence.
Investigators found that the girls were often forced to take part in tribal ceremonie... [more]
People's Daily Online
August 22, 2011
Hu Xinfa goes to sleep every night fearing that his wife may not be there when he wakes up the next morning.
Hu, a resident of a remote village in Central China's Hunan Province, bought his bride in 2008, who was kidnapped by human traffickers at the border between China and Vietnam. His worries began after hearing that several of his fellow villagers' wives, also bought from Vietnam years ago, had recently disappeared.
The villagers suspect that these women have been abducted and resold by human traffickers, Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
Hu Xinfa's wife is still with him, but Hu Jiahe from Shuizhou village is long gone. His wife has been missing for three months, leaving behind a 2-year-old daughter and unanswered questions for Hu's family.
Hu Jiahe's father spent 36,388 yuan ($5,633) on a bride for his son in 2008, after being introduced by Feng Zhicheng, a middleman at a matchmaking business in Shua... [more]
August 22, 2011
Sacramento couple arrested for forcing girls into prostitution
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO -- A Sacramento couple was arrested Saturday at a South San Francisco hotel on suspicion of forcing three teenage girls into prostitution, police said.
Officers went to a hotel in the 300 block of S. Airport Boulevard on a tip that a runaway girl had been seen near the property at about 4 p.m., according to South San Francisco police.
Arriving officers found a 19-year-old woman and two juvenile girls in a room at the hotel, police said.
The room was registered to 40-year-old Mahendar Singh, who was found in another room at the hotel, police said.
Singh and the three girls were taken into custody after police found evidence of prostitution in both hotel rooms.
During questioning, all three girls said they were being forced into prostitution by Singh and his wife, Helen, 22, of Sacramento, police said.
Helen Singh was found at the hotel and... [more]
RTHK English News
August 21, 2011
Police search for missing brides
Police in Hunan Province, China, say they have launched an investigation into the disappearance of around a hundred Vietnamese women who had been bought as wives.
Media reports said some husbands of the missing women received phone calls telling them to pay ransoms or the women would be sold again.
The public security bureau in Shuangfeng County said it had set up a special team to investigate suspected human trafficking and marriage fraud.
August 19, 2011
Truckers Against Trafficking will have booth at GATS
Since the Truckers Against Trafficking organization was formed in 2009, more than 125 truck drivers in 30 states have called the national hotline number to report instances of possible human trafficking.
And Kylla Leeburg, one of TAT's founders, wants to invite truckers to stop by booth No. 22158 at the Great American Trucking Show to be educated on how they can “make a call, save lives.”
Leeburg said the statistics are tracked by the Polaris Project, which runs the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. She told Land Line recently that while it's the first instinct of many drivers to call 911 to report possible human trafficking or prostitution, it's also important that they call the national hotline number at 888-373-7888 to report what they witness.
“We work with other groups like Polaris, who will be pushing for legislation and funding, so the more calls that come in from tru... [more]
August 19, 2011
Girl held as sex slave tells of beatings at suspect's court hearing
Detroit — A soft-voiced girl testified Thursday in the city's 36th District Court she was a 14-year-old runaway last summer when she spent a month selling her body on a Detroit street corner under the constant threat of beatings and death.
"We had to come home with at least $200. If I didn't, he would beat me," the girl testified at a preliminary examination for the man accused of making her and another teenage girl his sexual slaves.
Sedrick Leman-Isaac Mitchell, 32, also known as "Gruesome," is the first person charged under Michigan's new human trafficking law, a felony that carries a penalty of up to life in prison. He was apprehended last month in Mojave, Calif., according to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
Mitchell is charged with multiple crimes, including first-degree criminal sexual assault, racketeering, prostitution, felonious assault and use of... [more]
August 18, 2011
Two men accused in Internet sex tape scheme
Miami (CNN) -- Two Florida men are accused of promising women modeling jobs but instead taping sexual assaults of the women and selling the tapes on the Internet.
Lavont Flanders, Jr., 40, of Miami Gardens, and Emerson Callum, 45, of Miami, were indicted this week on 22-counts including human trafficking, federal authorities said.
The FBI alleges that Flanders posted advertisements on the Internet for modeling jobs and then would pose as an talent agent and ask women to come to South Florida for auditions.
"Once the women arrived in South Florida, Flanders would tell the women that they had to drink alcoholic beverages as part of their audition," federal authorities said in a statement. "Flanders would then provide alcoholic beverages that, unbeknownst to the victims, contained Xanax," an anti-anxiety drug.
Flanders would then film Callum in sexual acts with the women, the FBI and police said.
August 17, 2011
Five charged in trafficking, prostitution scheme
DUBAI // Five men were charged with trafficking a 21-year-old woman to the UAE, locking her up and forcing her into a brothel, a court heard today.
Prosecutors at the Criminal Court of First Instance charged the five Bangladeshi men, MI, 28; MT, 27; MF, 32; NA, 24; and RM, 24, with human trafficking.
NA and RM were separately charged with locking up the Bangladeshi woman in a villa and forcing her into working in the sex trade.
NA alone faces charges of running a brothel, and locking up and assaulting a second woman.
MI, MT and, MF were charged with criminal complicity. The men denied all charges before Judge Fahmy Mounir Fahmy.
SS told prosecutors she was approached by a man in her country who worked in travel and offered a job in Dubai. She said her family sent her to Dubai, and when she landed, RM was waiting for her. He took her in a taxi to a studio apartment in Fareej Al Mar... [more]
August 16, 2011
3 Nigerians jailed in Dutch “voodoo” prostitution case
THE HAGUE-(AFP) – A Dutch court on Tuesday sentenced a Nigerian-born man accused of leading an international prostitution ring which used voodoo to threaten victims to seven years in jail.
Three accomplices were also sentenced to between six months and four years by the court in the northeastern city of Zwolle for their part in luring at least 14 young Nigerian girls to the Netherlands and forcing them into the sex trade.
“The court sentenced the four accused to between seven years and six months for human trafficking,” a court statement said.
Court documents told how the accused, whose name was given as Peter Kwame S, 42, lured underage Nigerian girls to the Netherlands by promising them legal work in a shop “where they could earn good money.”
It said at least two victims were “subjected to voodoo rituals in Nigeria to make them swear an oath that they would not go to the po... [more]
August 15, 2011
Museum of London exhibition lifts the lid on modern day slavery in the capital
A new twin exhibition will expose the shocking reality of slavery and trafficking in 21st century London.
Opening at the Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands, Freedom from: Modern slavery coincides with the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.
Through a series of sobering photographs, personal testimonies and displays, the exhibition tackles the perception of slavery and trafficking as issues confined to history.
The exhibition also incorporates the views of those fighting to eradicate modern slavery in the capital.
Kit Malthouse, London's Deputy Mayor for Policing who will open the exhibition, said: “There is something so appalling about it, it just strikes so deeply.
“Aside from the moral duty to other human beings, I do not want London having a reputation that these things are easy to do”.
The ... [more]
August 15, 2011
Miss and former madam fight human trafficking
A battered wife who was fighting for the custody of her two sons, Tania Fiolleau remembers the day she first traded her body for money in 1996 in a desperate attempt to pay her legal fees.
Just 25, living in shelters and denied legal aid, Fiolleau answered an ad that promised “up to $1,500 a day.”
“I had no idea,” she told 24 hours. “That night, I couldn't get home fast enough to scrub my body raw from all the filth encrusted around my heart, my soul.”
Fiolleau – who eventually became one of the most successful brothel madams in Canada employing over 500 prostitutes – has since quit the sex trade and today, kicked off a three-week anti-human trafficking cross-country tour with Miss Canada, Tara Teng.
“I'm dreading this. Tara is Miss Canada, 22, her father's a pastor,” said Fiolleau, overwhelmed with guilt with her role in the trade. “Then you've got me, who married into an international organi... [more]
August 14, 2011
Chinese police rescue 22 women forced into prostitution
FUZHOU, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Police have freed 22 women who were forced to become sex workers in a south China city, local authorities said. Six suspects have been arrested in connection with the case.
The women were lured by job promises to the city of Xiamen in southeast China's Fujian Province, where the suspects "used all sorts of methods" to force them to work in an entertainment parlor as sex workers, police said.
Police raided the parlor in downtown Xiamen on Saturday night after being tipped off by two abducted women who fled a rented house on the outskirts of the city. The women were kept in the house when they weren't working.
The women rescued by the police were abducted from other parts of Fujian, as well as the inland provinces of Henan and Sichuan and the municipality of Chongqing, police said.
Their story is not rare in China. Over the past decade, young people fr... [more]
August 12, 2011
Woman Collapses While Hearing Criminal Charges Against Her
A woman accused of bringing her children to Wichita to have sex with a convicted sex offender collapsed while hearing criminal charges against her.
KAKE News is not identifying the woman because she is related to the young victims.
The woman hyperventilated, then collapsed while hearing a Sedgwick County District Court Judge read the charges against her this afternoon. Two Sedgwick County Jail officers held on to the woman's arms and tried to revive her.
The woman is charged with ten counts of rape and human trafficking.
Police said the Kansas City woman brought her two young daughters to Wichita to have sex with a sex offender. James Brown, 47, was arrested in July. He faces for than 80 criminal charges.
August 12, 2011
Guilty verdict in kidnapping, prostitution case
WAUSAU, Wis (WSAU) A Milwaukee man was found guilty of kidnapping, human trafficking, and prostitution charges in Marathon County court. 38-year-old Derrick Thornton was holding a woman against her will, and driving her to hotels in several cities to perform sex-acts for money.
A witness went to police after seeing Thornton beat the woman. The woman was able get to a cellphone while she was in Wausau and called her sister for help. She notified police.
Thornton's defense lawyer argued the woman offered herself as a prostitute voluntarily.
A Marathon County jury deliberated for about four hours yesterday before returning a guilty verdict. Thornton could face up to 46-years in prison when he's sentenced.
Courthouse News Service
August 8, 2011
Woman Says Monk's Family Enslaved Her
BROOKLYN (CN) - A Korean woman claims a Buddhist monk and his family enslaved her for 12 years after smuggling her into the United States through Canada.
Plaintiff Oak-Jin Oh claims lead defendant Soo Bok Choi hired her in 1998 through a Korean employment agency. She says Choi offered her 1.3 million Korean won per month - about $1,200 U.S. - to work at his home and temple in the United States. Oh says Choi flew her from Korea to Toronto, where she was forced to cook and clean for his family without pay.
"After several weeks, at defendant Soo Bok Choi's direction, the Choi family smuggled Ms. Oh into the United States. Under the cover of night, defendant Kyung Bok Choi and his two children, defendant Young Mi Choi and Young Kyung Choi, brought Ms. Oh to a small boat, which they used to cross into New York State. Defendant Soo Bok Choi met the group and drove them to a residence in Elmhurst,... [more]
August 6, 2011
Largest US human trafficking case in question
HONOLULU — The U.S. government's largest-ever human trafficking case, involving alleged exploitation of about 600 agricultural workers from Thailand, was put in jeopardy after all charges were dismissed in a related prosecution of a Hawaii farm, attorneys said Friday.
Federal authorities have accused Los Angeles-based labor recruiting company Global Horizons Manpower Inc. of manipulating workers placed in U.S. farms across the country, and an FBI spokesman last year compared the company's actions to a form of modern-day slavery. A trial against Global Horizons CEO Mordechai Orian is set for February in Honolulu.
But after U.S. prosecutors on Thursday abruptly dropped similar accusations that owners of Hawaii's Aloun Farms economically entrapped 44 Thai laborers, the fate of the case against Global Horizons became unclear.
"They don't have a case anyway," Orian said in an interview Friday. ... [more]
Laguna Niguel Patch
August 3, 3011
Sex Slavery Prompts Local Leaders to Draft Massage Parlor Law
This week Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law designed to stop massage parlors from acting as fronts for the sex-slave industry.
Drafted by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and State Sen. Lou Correa (Orange County), the law makes it a misdemeanor to issue a massage certificate or diploma to anyone who hasn't completed the training required by city codes or by the California Massage Therapy Council.
There are six massage establishments in Laguna Niguel that are approved and registered businesses, according to Dan Fox, community development director.
"This law gives law enforcement the tools to go after human trafficking at its inception. Human traffickers need these phony diplomas to place women in illegitimate massage parlors that are really brothels,” Rackauckas said in a written statement. “I will be working closely with other law enforcement agencies a... [more]
The Daily News
August 2, 2011
Couple plead guilty in forced servitude case
A Micronesian couple living in Longview pleaded guilty Tuesday in a human trafficking case in which they were accused of forcing an 18-year-old woman from their homeland to work for them.
Edk Kenit, 29, and Choimina Lukas, 31, face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Sentencing is Oct. 21.
Kenit and Lukas admitted in federal court in the Western District of Washington that in March 2010 they recruited the victim, identified in court documents as "S.S.," to care for their three children and do cooking and cleaning seven days a week without pay. The servitude lasted 11 months before S.S. escaped in February.
Kenit, Lukas and S.S. all are from the Chuuk island group in the Micronesian archipelago in the South Pacific. Culturally, S.S. felt bound to obey her elders, who threatened to harm her if she disobeyed, according to court documents.
"The defend... [more]
August 2, 2011
Omaha couple accused of keeping indentured servants
An Omaha couple accused of forcing a Laotian man and women into indentured servitude are on trial in federal court.
Edward and Amphayvanh Alstatt are charged in U.S. District Court with conspiracy to commit peonage, human trafficking and document servitude. Peonage is a status or condition of compulsory service based upon real or alleged indebtedness.
U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg alleged in a grand jury indictment that the Alstatts recruited and assisted Laotian nationals in obtaining immigrant visas to the United States and then retained possession of their immigration documents until debts were paid.
The Laotians immigrated to the United States through a Diversity Visa Lottery administered by the U.S. State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
The Alstatts are tailors. Amphayvanh Alstatt is of Laotian descent and is a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
August 1, 2011
Doctor helped in selling of children to Chinese families
AN obstetrician was among those found helping human traffickers sell Vietnamese children to Chinese families in a cross-border case cracked by police in south China.
Police in Guangdong Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region yesterday revealed details of their operation on July 15 in which they broke up a trafficking gang, saving eight children and detaining 39 suspects.
They said the gang, 31 of whose members were from China and eight from Vietnam, had smuggled 21 infants to China since June 2.
The Vietnamese smuggled children across the border into Guangxi and handed them over to the Chinese who, in most cases, sold them to neighbors and relatives, the Yangcheng Evening News reported.
Guangdong police found an obstetrician in the province surnamed Lin had been taking care of the children before buyers were found, the report said.
However, five of the eight rescu... [more]
The Times of India
July 30, 2011
Human trafficking racket busted, 13 minors rescued
BANGALORE: The Bangalore police claimed to have recently busted a human trafficking racket with the arrest of two person and rescued 13 children from their possession.
Acting on a tip off, the police raided a luggage manufacturing unit here and rescued 13 children, including two girls and a three-year-old boy.
The police said that the two accused had been supplying minor children, mainly from Bihar, to industrial establishments.