The Hague, 28 November 2022
Supported by Eurojust and Europol, judicial and law enforcement authorities in Hungary and Switzerland have dismantled a criminal network involved in trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation. During an action day, four suspects were arrested and four locations searched in the two countries involved. Seizures include a high-value vehicle, and HUF 3 million (approximately EUR 7,300) and CHF 2,000 (approximately EUR 2,000) in cash.
The victims are young Hungarian women from underprivileged backgrounds. The suspects allegedly sent the victims to Switzerland where they were forced to enter into prostitution. The victims were under permanent control of the perpetrators.
The case was opened at Eurojust in January 2022 at the request of the Swiss authorities. The Agency supported the authorities in Hungary and Switzerland in setting up a joint investigation team (JIT) into the case in June 2022. Two coordination meetings were also hosted by Eurojust to facilitate judicial cooperation and provide support for the coordinated investigative efforts.
Europol facilitated the information exchange and provided operational analytical support.
During a joint action day on 22 November, four suspects were arrested, two in Hungary and two in Switzerland. A total of four house searches (two in Hungary and two in Switzerland) were carried out.
A high-value vehicle, HUF 3 million (approximately EUR 7,300) and CHF 2,000 (approximately EUR 2,000) in cash, jewellery, cell phones, electronic devices and 7 real estate properties were seized in Hungary.
The Hungarian law enforcement agency identified and interrogated three potential victims of the criminal group.
The following authorities took part in this investigation:
- Hungary: Prosecution Office of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County and National Bureau of Investigation (THB Unit)
- Switzerland: Law enforcement authority of the Canton Zürich in Switzerland