Criminal gang behind prostitution network dismantled by Romania and the United Kingdom

26 August 2016
Press Release
Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Trafficking in Human Beings

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Romanian Police and DIICOT Prosecutor’s Office1, working together with UK law enforcement authorities and supported by Europol and Eurojust, have dismantled a Romanian organised criminal group involved in trafficking young women into prostitution in more than 10 cities in the UK.

An extensive action day organised by the Romanian Police in the Ploieşti region resulted in the identification of 15 suspects, all of them subject to judicial preventive measures: 8 were arrested and 7 were put under judicial probation.

After searching 18 houses, the police found and seized the significant amount of cash, luxury cars and other evidence2. Also during the operational activities, over 40 individuals – suspects, potential victims and witnesses – were identified by the police.

Europol actively supported the action day and provided operational analytical support to Romania and the UK throughout the entire investigation. The support included the facilitation of information exchange between the investigators and analysis of data. Several operational meetings were held at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague.

For this action, Europol deployed an analyst to Romania, equipped with the mobile office, through which data collected in real-time was cross-checked against Europol’s databases.

In addition, UK authorities provided assistance during the day of action by deploying officers to Romania3.  

The action day came as an outcome of a broad Romanian – British international cooperation and parallel investigations carried out in both countries.

Europol and Eurojust supported the countries involved in this cross-border operation throughout the investigation and facilitated police and judicial cooperation in the framework of a joint investigation team (JIT).

Watch a video of the house searches

1 Regional Organised Crime Unit Ploiesti (BCCO Ploiesti) and Regional Prosecutor’s Office Ploieşti (DIICOT – ST Ploieşti).

2 5 vehicles, GBP 9.300, EUR 5.700, mobile devices, forged identification documents, financial documents.

3 UK police officers from the Regional Organised Crime Unit “ZEPHYR”(ROCU ZEPHYR).