Europe-wide police operation saves hundreds of sex trafficking victims

Law enforcement agencies across Europe carried out massive coordinated operations against organized criminal groups involved in trafficking and forced sexual exploitation, leading to the arrest of 107 people, Europol said on Monday.

The Austrian-led operation, conducted between 26 June and July 2, led to 910 potential victims of trafficking being identified.

Twenty-two countries participated in the Europe-wide operation, in which nearly 125,000 persons, 6,000 vehicles and 4,000 locations, such as red-light districts, brothels and massage parlors were checked.

“Special attention was given to the online environment, used as a means to advertise victims of sexual exploitation,” Europol said in a statement.

Europol said the week-long operation confirmed the prevalence of trafficking networks originating from Nigeria, South America and Eastern Europe.

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