|2013 Máj 24 (Péntek)
||Eszter, Eliza névnapja
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Mon Feb 17, 6:24 AM ET
TIMISOARA, Romania - A Serb man and four Romanians were charged Monday with trafficking more than 100 of Romanian and Moldovan women to Yugoslavia, Italy and Spain over a four-month period, police said.
An Austrian national was charged with the same crime in a separate case.
The Serb, identified as Zoran Stankovic, 27, from the city of Vranje, recruited young Romanian and Moldovan women, who were forced into prostitution in Kosovo, Montenegro, Italy and Spain, said Mircea Chirila, head of the regional unit for fighting organized crime and drugs in this western Romanian city. He denied the charge.
Police said many of the women were recruited from impoverished counties in northeast Romania after reading newspaper ads offering jobs as maids and housekeepers in western Europe.
Two men from northeast Romania, Catalin Apostol and his brother Vasile, and two men from the Timisoara region, Lucian Andriks and Ionel Costan, were also arrested and charged with being part of the human trafficking ring.
The women were taken to Timisoara, a city some 500 kilometers (310 miles) northwest of Bucharest, where they were smuggled by guides into Yugoslavia across the River Danube, Chirila said. They were sold to Yugoslav pimps for up to 2,000 euros (US$2,140). More than 100 women were trafficked from October to February.
In a separate incident, Austrian national Johann Ulz, 45, was charged Monday in Timisoara with trafficking four young women to Hungary and Austria to work as prostitutes.
He was arrested Friday in Arad, a Romanian city near the Hungarian border. Ulz has denied the charges, police said.
The women were taken to Lake Balaton in Hungary, where they served clients for up to 100 euros (US$ 107). Most of the money was given to Ulz, Chirila said.
Ulz initially promised the women jobs as housekeepers in Austria and paid their costs for obtaining passports. A couple of the women went to Austria where they worked as prostitutes.
Romanian authorities have stepped up efforts in recent years to crack down on human trafficking, which flourished with the collapse of communism and neighboring Yugoslavia. Romania wants to join the European Union (news - web sites) and has been told to tighten border controls.
Human trafficking is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
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