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On Tuesday, 9 June, Ljubljana and Koper criminal investigators arrested in two operations five persons suspected of prostitution abuse. More information on the conduct and results of these investigations was disclosed at the press conference today, 11 June 2009.

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Participants at the press conference included (from left to right): Tomaž PerÅ¡olja, the Head of the Division for organised crime in the Crime Police Directorate at the General Police Directorate,  Branko Japelj, Head of the Crime Police Section at the Ljubljana PD, and Dean Jurič, Head of the Crime Police Section at the Koper PD.

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Head of the Criminal Police Section at the Ljubljana PD, Branko Japelj told that the Ljubljana criminal police had arrested within the scope of a comprehensive criminal operation a 30-year-old man and 22-year-old woman, both citizens of Slovenia, who are reasonably suspected of committing at least 7 criminal offences of prostitution abuse and of a criminal offence of extortion.

The criminal investigation was conducted already from February 2009, when police were notified of a crime of extortion committed by the 30-year-old man, who inflicted serious physical injuries on the victim and took away his car.  By collecting information, police officers found that in organising the crime of prostitution abuse he cooperated with his 22-year-old common-law female partner.

The suspects had rented five flats in the area of Ljubljana, the so called "mini brothels", in which 12 girls, citizens of Slovenia, offered paid sexual services to clients. Their work in the apartments was all the time supervised by the 30-years-old suspect, who assigned work to them and took 65 Euro from each, irrespective of the number of clients.

Criminal investigators found on the basis of a police investigation that the two suspects received each month about 4,000 Euro. They also found that the suspects recruited girls who were in a financially and socially difficult  situation. Among others, the 30-year-old man also lured under-age girls into prostitution.

On the web pages they also published advertisiments for escort girls, offering sexual services. The rate for such escorting was 220 euro for an hour, 350 euro for two hours, 400 euro for three hours and 1,500 euro for the whole day. The suspects earned with the so-called escort girls an additional 3,000 to 4,000 euro per month. On client's order they took girls to various hotels both in Slovenia and Italy, Austria, and Croatia.

In the area of Ljubljana, the 30-year-old suspect also collaborated in organisation of prostitution with a 40-year and 26-year-old man from Ljubljana, against whom the Koper criminal police filed several criminal complaints for the crime of prostitution abuse.

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Dean Jurič, Head of the criminal police section at the Koper PD, presented the conduct of investigation in the area of Koper. Crime investigators at the Koper PD, at the end of the year 2008, came into possession of the data that in the coastal region crimes of prostitution were organised by the suspects coming from the area of Ljubljana, with rented apartments in the area of Koper.  Police officers found that the 40-year old man from Ljubljana cooperates in conducting the crime with a 26-year-old man from Ljubljana and a 24-year- old woman from Kamnik.

In the investigation, the police discovered 8 rented apartments in the area of Koper, Izola, Ankaran, Celje, Ljubljana and Nova Gorica. According to the evidence collected, at least 42 girls were prostituted in these apartments, above all Slovenian citizens, and among them also one citizen of Croatia, of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a citizen of Slovakia.

They recruited girls by advertisements in printed and electronic media, by means of which they looked for girls for carrying out the so-called erotic massage. In personal contact with the interested women, the suspects informed them that the advertisement entails offering sexual services. To the women they provided apartments, the advertising of sexual services in printed and electronic media and mobile telephones for reception of client calls. From girls who were prostituting themselves (they worked in shifts) the recruiters received payment in cash, i.e., they had to hand over part of their profit on a daily basis in the amount of 50 to 65 euro, and in case of  whole-day sexual services, between 100 to 130 euro.  It must be emphasised that the two suspects consequently required daily payment from girls, irrespective of whether they had clients or not on that day.

On 9 June, the Koper criminal investigators arrested all the above suspects and carried out house searches in their apartments.

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According to Tomaž Peršolja, Head of the Criminal Associations Section of Criminal Police Directorate at General Police Directorate, the police in 2009 focuse their activities in the fight against sexual exploitation and human trafficking above all on uncovering individuals and criminal associations, as well as criminal foci, where crimes in the field of prostitution and human trafficking are carried out, with special emphasis on the detection and protection of victims of human trafficking.

Also in the year 2009, the Slovenian police noticed several various forms of sexual exploitation in night bars, where the majority of victims are foreign citizens; in rented apartments and tourist facilities, where the majority of victims are citizens of Slovenia.

Since the police are aware that sexual exploitation represents a serious form of human rights violations, they dedicate special attention to this phenomenon.

In addition to focusing the activities on the detection and investigation of this type of crime, the police focus their activities on adequate training of police officers and crime investigators. They implement training programmes in which police officers and criminal investigators acquire additional knowledge for suitable and professional dealing with victims of such crimes.