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Crime Watch: Romanian Trafficking Gangs Expand in the UK

Crime Watch: Romanian Trafficking Gangs Expand in the UK

Romania is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Unfortunately, Romanian crime gangs and organized criminal groups have spoiled the reputation for the entire country while putting their own fellow citizens at danger. Currently, the United Kingdom has become one of the main and most profitable markets for sex trafficking.

Sadly, the pandemic measures have left a lot of poverty behind, a situation which has led criminals to take advantage of underage Romanian girls and their families, to be sold in the British sex market or elsewhere overseas.

Sex trafficking related crimes in Romania are not new, but according to a recent article the European Commission has reported 10 times more children being smuggled out of Romania in 2021 than what they found in 2016, only 5 years earlier. The great majority of women working in British brothels are Romanian, most of which were brought in as teenagers and forced into the sex industry.

Private investigators in Bucharest say the crime rings target teenage girls and their parents with promises of a better life abroad, for a little sacrifice. Mafia is powerful too, so those that have not been convinced on good terms might be forced. Whichever is the case, the truth is that sex trafficking is a lucrative business for the gangs but never for the victims. The women themselves are often left without any means of subsistence, as they are ordered to hand over all the cash they make to the men who stole them as children.

The lack of opportunities in rural areas of Romania triggers the problem. For many young women, escaping to a “better life” in the U.K. is their only choice, as their foreseeable future is one of poverty and violence anyways. Coupled with the pandemic-driven poverty from lockdowns, and the spread of a culture of abuse in Romania, the number of known pedophiles in the U.K. has nearly doubled between 2019 and 2020, increasing from 180,000 to 350,000 and generating a larger market for mafia rings.

Sex related crimes have no boundaries

Romanian sex slaves are also forced to work as webcam girls for many brides and dating sites. Online romance scams can be as profitable as prostitution, and the risks taken by the crime rings are less. Plus, the geographic reach is much greater. Nevertheless, the working conditions are still those of modern slavery, and women are deprived of means to survive or the chance to get back with their families.

Report if you can, and be cautious when online dating

If you stumble with a situation where you suspect sex trafficking is a possibility, report it to the authorities. When dating online, be especially cautious with Romanian women. You never know if they are who they claim to be, or if they are being forced into a romance scam scheme by a mafia ring. Even if you are absolutely sure you are communicating with an adult woman and under very normal circumstances, it pays to hire an online dating verification and obtain reliable evidence regarding their identity and background.

C. Wright
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