Raids, arrest in probe of forced prostitution in Germany

International

A Federal Police emergency vehicle stands in front of an apartment building during a raid in Erfurt, Germany, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. During the raid against smugglers accused of human trafficking and forced prostitution, officers searched numerous apartments in several German cities. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Police raided sites in Berlin and northern Germany on Wednesday in an investigation of three people suspected of forcing Vietnamese women who had been smuggled to Germany into prostitution.

The main suspect, a 43-year-old Vietnamese woman, was arrested at her apartment in Berlin. Police said the two other suspects are a 25-year-old woman from Vietnam and a 64-year-old German man, news agency dpa reported. The operation was the result of a year-long investigation.

Federal police said they searched eight properties in Berlin, Hamburg and the Baltic Sea resort town of Timmendorfer Strand. Around 160 officers took part in the raids.

Investigators believe the suspects employed the victims in nail studios and massage parlors and forced them into prostitution at those sites, at financial benefit to themselves, police tweeted.

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