By Julien Coquet
TOURS, France (La Nouvelle Republique) — Nearly eighteen months of investigation led to a wave of arrests, on Tuesday, June 14. In Tours, Blois and Romorantin in particular, a network of criminals originating from Armenia was dismantled by the police. About a dozen people are set to appear in court this Friday, June 17.
They are part of a Mafia gang forcing young women to indulge in prostitution, as part of “sex tours” (in France and abroad), on routes organized from city to city via weekly rented apartments. “They bring them to France from Moldova, Georgia, Romania or Ukraine, install them, manage several girls, ensure their safety too,” says a source. It was during a stay in Tours, scheduled to last a handful of days, that the police officers of the Departmental Police (SD) received information.
Behind the silhouette of the reported young woman, identified in the city center, initial interrogations took place. “Like every time, you ask yourself who she works for and so the wires have to be pulled,” explains one police officer.
The police have little or no knowledge about the majority of those arrested Tuesday because they learned to pass under the radar or through the game of fake papers and fake identities, which facilitated their installation in France. They are petty Russian-speaking delinquents, essentially in their thirties or forties, whose daily routine could consist of negotiation in a car, fast food and pimping.
As evidence of the international scale of the case, the Inter-Regional Specialized Jurisdiction of Paris, which handles the most complex criminal cases, piloted the investigation. On the ground, the Central Office for the Suppression of Trafficking in Human Beings took over from SD, alongside the judicial police. The presentation before a magistrate, this Friday, of the ten people arrested at the beginning of the week could precede an indictment. The leaders of “organized gang pimping” and “association of evil doers” are targeted in particular.