A human trafficking trial started at the Copenhagen City Court on Monday, with nine Romanians facing charges of forcing 16 females into prostitution.
Police claim that the seven male and two female defendants lured the Romanian women to Denmark on the promise of a better life before forcing them into prostitution in Istedgade, Copenhagen’s red light district.
Copenhagen police spokesman Carsten Ahrends said the defendants are suspected members of a major Romanian prostitution network. He revealed that they all know each other and that they come from the same area of Romania as the women.
The trial begins after a six-month investigation into how the defendants manipulated and forced the women to give them money. However, the women are said to have been uncooperative with the police, meaning they had to use the evidence gathered by tracking phone calls.
The defendants, who face 10 years in jail followed by deportation, have all pleaded not guilty. One is pleading his innocence based on the fact he is in a relationship with one of the women.
Prosecutor Maria Congari said they are all facing human trafficking charges despite the fact the women may not have been sold. She explained, however, that they were all exploited and brought from Romania to be used as prostitutes.