A Hungarian criminal organisation dealing with pimping of prostitutes was eliminated by the Belgian and Hungarian police.

Dr Gábor Bucsek, police Brig-Gen, director of the Riot Police National Bureau of Investigation and Danny van Brussels, tactical investigator, representative of the Belgian police reported on the details of the detection at a joint press conference.

At the initiative of the Belgian police, a joint investigation team was established, and the colleagues of the Riot Police National Bureau of Investigation were cooperating in the action.

According to the information provided by the foreign authorities, the criminal group – comprised mostly of Hungarian members - transported recruited women from Hungary to Belgium since 2012. These women were forced to work as prostitutes in different bars of the red-light district in Ghent.

In accordance with the evidences, the members of the group made pressure on the victims, who were threatened, beaten or also forced to make sexual intercourse with the client without protection - for the purpose of more income.

The members of the criminal group controlled the daily work of the girls, checked their income, and defined the time and place where the girls had to work. The income earned by the girls was taken by the suspects - one part of it was spent and the other part was invested in - among others - properties and vehicles.

The joint investigation team carried out simultaneous investigative measures on 13 March 2014 in Belgium and Hungary in order to capture the suspects in both countries as well as to search in their properties in Hungary with the aim to seize the evidences and assets stored in Hungary.

The Belgian authorities had searches at different locations in Ghent, during which 8 persons (7 Hungarian and 1 foreign citizens) were caught, suspected with human trafficking, participation in a criminal organisation and money laundering.

On the same day, following the capture in Belgium, the Hungarian investigators – with the help of two Belgian colleagues – were investigating in 3 towns (Budapest, Nyíregyháza, Mohács). As a result, two persons were caught based on the European arrest warrant and searches were held in 7 other locations.

The extradition procedure of the two arrested persons started on 14 March 2014, but the extradition to Belgium was approved only for one of them after the judicial hearing.

For the purpose of tracing the suspects’ still unknown associates, the Riot Police National Bureau of Investigation is continuing the procedure on the suspected crime of pandering.