24 February 2020
Authorities in Romania and Spain have taken action against an Organised Criminal Group (OCG) suspected of human trafficking, pimping and money laundering. In parallel coordinated operations, four suspects have been arrested and six locations searched. Seven victims of Romanian origin were brought to safety, among them two minors. Approximately EUR 58 000 in cash, as well as three properties, two luxury cars and mobile phones and phone cards were seized.
The OCG members allegedly collected, transported and housed their victims and forced them into prostitution in Romania and Spain. The members' regular movements made it more difficult for law enforcement and judicial authorities to react accordingly and required constant coordination, with Eurojust playing a key role. A coordination meeting took place at Eurojust in November 2019.
The operation was led by the Galati Territorial Office of the Directorate for Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism and the Investigative Court number 14 in Romania, together with the Provincial Prosecutor's Office in Málaga, Spain. It was successfully carried out thanks to cooperation between the Galati County Police Inspectorate in Romania, Galati County Gendarmes Inspectorate, and Romanian National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons, with the support of the Special Operations Brigade of Galati and Spanish Policia Nacional, assisted by the Attaché of the Minister of Interior at the Spanish Embassy in Bucharest. Officers of the Policia Nacional attended the investigations in Romania.
Photo © Policia Nacional (ES), Politia (RO)
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