BEIRUT – Lebanon`s security forces have dismantled the country`s biggest known sex trafficking ring and liberated 75 mainly Syrian women, a security source said on Friday.
They had been raped and beaten, while some showed signs of “mutilation”, a statement from the Internal Security Forces said.
“This is the largest sex trafficking ring we`ve uncovered since the outbreak of the Syrian war,” a Lebanese security source told AFP.
Police officers in the Mount Lebanon region north of Beirut “identified and arrested a group of people who made up Lebanon`s most dangerous human trafficking network”, the ISF statement said.
Cops in the Mount Lebanon district north of Beirut “distinguished and captured a gathering of individuals who made up Lebanon`s most unsafe human trafficking system”, the ISF proclamation said.
They “rescued 75 women, most of them Syrian nationals who had been subjected to beatings and psychological and physical torture, forced to perform sexual acts and had indecent images of them taken and distributed,” it said.
Ten men and eight women guarding the apartments where the victims were kept have been arrested, the statement said.
Two other suspects remain at large.
Speaking to AFP, the security source added that “an eight-month-old baby, likely the child of one of the rescued women, was also found”.
Even before the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, Syrian women had been pushed into the illicit sex trade in neighbouring Lebanon.
“However, as with any war, conflict has made Syrian women and children even more vulnerable,” the source said.
Two held on charge of girls trafficking
BETRAWATI— Police have arrested two persons for their alleged involvement in trafficking five adolescent girls aged between 13 to 16 — to India.
The arrestees have been identified as Nirmal Biswakarma (23) of Bheriganga Municipality-12 of Surkhet and Bikas Pyakurel (20) of Chaughada in Likhu Rural Municipality-4 of Nuwakot.
The Surkhet Police had arrested Biswokarma from his home while rescuing the captive girls on Friday and produced him before court on Saturday.
Likewise, acting on the statement of the captive girls, police arrested Pyakurel from Battar Bazaar, Nuwakot on Sunday.
According to District Police Office Chief Basanta Kunwar, a case related to human trafficking was registered against them on Sunday and investigation into the case was expedited from the Nuwakot District Court.
It has been learnt that the duo lured the girls, on their way to play Bhailo on Laxmi Puja, by promising them good jobs in India and transported them to Surkhet.
The rescued girls have been kept at a shelter of Women and Children Service Centre of Nepal Police.Follow @gorkhapost