By Manfred Paulus, retired detective chief superintendent, Ulm/Danube, June 2013
External perspectives (« Außenansichten »)
The roads are bumpy and steep. They lead up to the mountains, high above Tirana. Signposts, signs, or markings disappeared long ago, and good local knowledge seems to be necessary to find a specific destination or back to the capital. Suddenly, in a valley, there is a hidden area with two old houses, fenced with barbed wire and guarded by armed security guards, where a dozen or more young Albanian women are housed, victims of human trafficking and sex slavery. The Ministry of the Interior has placed them here in as a victim protection measure. These in turn are related to EU requirements for Albania’s desired membership in the European Community. Up here in the mountains, the young women learn a trade hairdresser or seamstress. These are activities in which money can be earned in Albania. Then, once they are no longer afraid, no longer have to flee and fear for their young lives…
Their « owners » and exploiters, members of criminal gangs, traffickers and pimps are searching for them. They want to bring them back to where they once were and from where they fled: to Germany or Austria. They want to continue exploiting the young women as sex slaves, and it is to be feared that they want revenge. They want to set an example that escape will not be tolerated and, if necessary, they are ready to remove, dispose of, the young women who might be troublesome witnesses. To prevent this, they were brought here to safety as far as there is, or can be, safety here.
Dirt, filth, poverty, helplessness and exposure, fear, threats, violence, drugs, disgusting johns, perverse practices … Elina, only 19 years old and one of the women hidden in the mountains of Albania, nervously runs her fingers through her long, blueblack hair and tells of the horrendous trip that led her from Albania via Kosovo to Germany and into the sex centers of several German cities.
She suddenly resembles an old raddled woman. Her pretty face looks pale, and her expression is deadly serious. A veil of sadness and resignation lies about her, and there are tears in her clear, dark eyes. Then she looks up suddenly. For a moment she looks demanding, proud, combative.
« Why is there such a thing in your country? Why is there allowed to be such a thing in Germany? »
The questions are as painful as stabs from a knife, they make us feel ashamed.
« We are also sad that there is such a thing in Germany … » is the regretful answer which is in fact not an answer.
In conversations with members of the police, the criminal police, or with representatives of non governmental organizations (NGOs) in the countries of the former Soviet Union and of Southeastern European, the recruitment and transit countries of commoditized women and children, it becomes clear again and again that in those countries it is well known what happens to the victims of human trafficking in the German redlight districts, in bars, brothels and in the streetwalkers’ patch. [« Straßenstrich »] The situation was documented by returnees, grossly disappointed, often completely desperate and distraught, often severely traumatized women who have escaped the hell of German sex markets. In Albania as well as in Bulgaria and Romania, in Belarus and the Republic of Moldova as well as in Ukraine…
And in all these countries it is also well known what does not happen to the perpetrators in this country: that they can operate largely without risk, they are mostly not prosecuted and that there is hardly ever an appropriate judgment against them. People look on with incomprehension, often with indignation and contempt.
It seems remarkable that the miserable reputation that Germany has, with regard to the sexual exploitation of women and children, is in no way restricted only to the Eastern and Southeastern European countries where victims are recruited. The tolerance often granted in Germany, tolerating or even promoting degrading sexual practices in the milieus concerned, and the hardly successful fight against crime in the German redlight scene has also caused in the past, for example, the irritation and amazement of our neighbor France.
There, in comparison with Germany, almost opposite strategies and a highly restrictive policy have been pursued for a long time towards the largely criminalised French sex market. While in the German Penal Code pimping carries a penalty similar to that of illegally leaving the scene of an accident and is in many cases not even prosecuted, since the entry into force of the Prostitution Law of 2002, France has clear criteria available in § 225 of their Penal Code, thanks to which France has some of the heaviest penalties against pimping worldwide. This is why pimps, to the annoyance of France, act from idyllic German Rhine towns: for example, they drive their victims from Kehl over the Europe Bridge [Pont de l’Europe] to Strasbourg in France, where they are put to work as street prostitutes. In 2003, during his time as Minister of the Interior, Sarkozy also wanted to abolish this street prostitution, a last remnant of the former « land of the free love » however, he did not succeed. His attempt failed, as all attempts to abolish prostitution have failed over the centuries and the history of mankind.
Nevertheless, France unwaveringly continues its attempts to confine the sex industry to a controlled minimum and to prevent and effectively combat redlight crime and the inextricably linked organized crime in all its forms.
In the U.S., too, people are closely following events in Germany. Sometimes they even call it « the land of evil, » when there is talk of the liberties which our country allows the redlight milieus and thus the traffickers, pimps, and organized crime, while sex slaves and victims of even worse crimes, are often left alone.
In the United States, prostitution is with a few exceptions prohibited. The philosophy of the U.S. ban on prostitution can be found in the « National Security Presidential Directive ». Here prostitution is viewed as inherently malicious. Legalization, it is stated, fosters trafficking and pimping, and the establishments concerned are nothing more than facades behind exploitation
and crime happen. According to a U.S. study that was published in the scientific publication « Journal for Trauma Practice »:
- the majority of prostitutes do not work in prostitution voluntarily
89% of them are more or less desperate and want to get out
again and again children are exploited after legalization despite all countermeasures
between 60 and 75% of prostitutes are raped one or multiple times
70-95% of women in prostitution experience assault
- 68% of prostitutes suffer from post traumatic disorders, levels comparable to those of war veterans or victims of torture.
It is also stated that the legalization of prostitution inevitably involves an expansion of the sex markets and, along with them, increased crime rates. Nevertheless, even the U.S. is not free from prostitution (it is even legal in eleven counties of the state of Nevada), or from human trafficking and pimping. Latin American and Eastern European criminal gangs and syndicates also drag women to the « land of opportunity » and make them work as prostitutes there. However, this illegal prostitution in the U.S. is combated using all available means sometimes highly unconventional and unusual means. Thus, for example, on the streets as well as on the Internet, « honeytraps » are deployed. Attractive female police officers in civilian clothes offer themselves for sale. When a potential john accepts and pays the agreed price, he will immediately be arrested.
With these perspectives and circumstances, is not surprising that the rather more tolerant conditions in Germany meet with a total lack of understanding in the U.S.
German tolerance and practices in dealing with the redlight milieus are subject to criticism not only in the Eastern and Southeastern European countries where commoditized women and children are recruited, but also in France and the U.S.
A young female Thai journalist from the « Bangkok Post » (the largest English language newspaper in Thailand) also reported on the ugly Germans and the sexual exploitation of innocent Thai women and children in German brothels as well as in the Gulf of Siam.
And not without reason, the mayor of the Czech border town of Cheb has repeatedly complained in the past about the worldwide bad reputation of his town. He never forgets to point out that this is less due to his countrymen, but rather to the Germans (the johns and the child sex tourists)…
These and other critical external views on the situation and the way Germany deals with prostitution and with the redlight milieus are complemented and confirmed by the fact that pimp gangs and cliques from all over the world feel welcome to come to Germany, and by the fact that these people, and the rightly dreaded organized criminal groups feel encouraged to invest increasingly in the German redlight milieus. Not least due to continued allowances and offender-friendly conditions, the present German prostitution environment [« Prostitutionslandschaft »], the redlight milieus, have long been controlled and dominated in many parts of the country by groups that can often be associated with organized crime, such as:
- Albanian clans (the Albanian mafia),
- the Russian mafia (numerous smaller or bigger groups and organizations),
- the Balkan syndicates,
- Ukrainian gangs,
- Lebanese mafia,
- Turkish criminal groups,
- Lithuanian criminal groups,
- Bulgarian pimp gangs,
- male or female Nigerians pimps,
- the rocker gangs (Hells Angels)
and other similarly structured and not less criminal organizations.
For many years, the departments of the German police that are responsible for the fight against « crime related to nightlife » have been warning against the developments in the German milieus, as well as against redlight crime and progressing organized crime, which are increasingly taking place underground [« Dunkelfeld »].
Even Roberto Scarpinato, head of the pool of prosecutors, who has been fighting the Italian Mafia for decades in Palermo (he has collaborated with the legendary Judge Falcone who was blown up by the mafia in 1992, and he brought down the Italian President Andreotti by providing evidence of his mafia contacts), and who is considered one of the most prominent Mafia experts and hunters in the world, has for many years insistently but fruitlessly been warning Germany against the infiltration of organized crime into the German redlight milieu and beyond that, into society as a whole.
« The Germans still pretend that the mafia is a problem of the Turks, the Italians, the Japanese or Chinese…, have they really not realized that the German pimps were displaced and that others have taken over those who unquestionably are part of organized crime or the mafia (at best, there are structural differences between these two)…? »
Such remarkable external views and assessments of the developments and the events in the German redlight milieu consistently make a very negative image. And they paint a picture that is downright disastrous in terms of the assessment of the political and the resultant police and judicial handling of the situation and the challenges.
Are these critical assessments and findings justified, and is there a need for change in our handling of prostitution and with the related and in large parts unquestionably criminal, milieus?
A look at the relevant German legislation
Could it be that legislative omissions, miscalculations and wrong decisions led and still lead to those problems?
At any rate, amendments with regard to the prostitution milieu have been undertaken repeatedly, without (sufficient) knowledge of, or taking into account, the conditions and characteristics of these parallel societies in the redlight milieu. Legislative initiatives often ignored the peculiarities and characteristics of the milieu and its (unwritten) laws with the result of a lacking or even counterproductive effect.
On 1 January 2001, on a Hamburg initiative and in the middle of the age of AIDS, the Law to combat sexually transmitted diseases (GeschlKrG) was abrogated, thus abolishing the previously prescribed regular health checks for prostitutes. As a consequence apart from the health aspects the regular social contact of the women in prostitution with physicians or health departments was stopped as well as the police checks, which had been made possible by and carried out according to the GeschlKrG.
Up to this day, people had failed to recognize that such contacts of prostitutes with people and institutions of the public are indispensable due to the preventive aspects which should not be underestimated: they are essential for recognition of victimization processes and crimes in the redlight parallel societies. Any restriction of such contact promotes crime and can have and indeed has fatal consequences for the (potential) victim of that environment.
The offense of trafficking for sexual exploitation has always placed high evidentiary demands. It has always been considered impractical and was therefore in the past repeatedly subjected to changes. Exploitation, predicament, helplessness in connection with the stay in a foreign country these and other elements of an offense [« Tatbestandsmerkmale »] are often difficult to prove; however, they can mostly be refuted easily and without any problems by the persons or advocates of the milieu. In those rare cases where evidence can be provided, criminal procedure requirements often present insurmountable hurdles: the perpetrators can easily prevent the attendance and testimony of a victim in court (personal evidence), which is required for a
judgment and this is indeed what the exploiters of the victims of human trafficking and sex slavery habitually do. Sometimes it is even the government that prevents personal evidence being given, if the victims were expelled from the country before upcoming court hearings.
There are similar problems when it comes to the offense of pimping, which, due to the Prostitution Act of 2002, can only find a very limited application anyway. With this Prostitution Act, which has clearly missed its objective to improve the situation of prostitutes, crucial and highly negative changes have occurred that affect prosecution and make it not only much more difficult, but in many cases even impossible. This law which entered into force in 2002 was intended to serve the prostitutes, but it solely serves the pimps.
Perhaps this is related to the fact that the then Federal Minister of Justice is reported to have extensively consulted with a brothel operator in Stuttgart, but to have abstained from seeking the advice or opinion of, for example, the experienced and undoubtedly competent prostitution service of the Stuttgart police (according to Chief Inspector Hohmann, longtime head of the prostitution investigation service [« Ermittlungsdienst Prostitution »] in Stuttgart, in an interview with EMMA Issue Spring 2011 [ii]). Anyway, the law fails to recognize the realities and completely fails to meet the intended objectives.
For instance, its entire logic is based on the assumption that the milieus where prostitution is embedded, which they direct and control, do not or only negligibly differ from common areas of society, and that their properties and characteristics may be disregarded. A fatal mistake! In the subcultures and parallel societies of the prostitution milieus, it has never been the legislator or the Prostitution Act that determined, for example, who will be covered by medical and social insurance and who will not, but it is only the pimps. This was the case previous and is and will remain the case for the foreseeable future. As in other areas, the power imbalance between brothel owners or pimps and the prostitutes prevents any freedom of choice. The German redlight districts are and this, too, has been misunderstood or ignored subcultures with their own values, their own laws, their own judges, and if necessary, their own executioners.
All persons in this milieu perpetrators and victims, tenants and landlords, the homeless, drug addicts, prostitutes, traffickers, pimps and redlight kings they all feel subject and committed to these laws and to these laws alone. This is what the victims of human trafficking learn in their first lesson, which is mostly given to them before entering German territory and German brothels. The general laws, however, are of no interest in these milieus; they must not be of interest. They are ignored, at best taken note of with contempt, they are trampled upon or ridiculed unless they are, just as the Prostitution Law, useful for the milieus and the people living in them.
This Prostitution Act, again in disregard of realities, equates prostitution with any other trade (for several reasons, it has never been nor will ever be a trade like any other).
Moreover, it explicitly gives pimps an albeit restricted right of direction over prostitutes [« Weisungsrecht »]. Maybe it was the Stuttgart brothel operator who advised the then Federal Minister of Justice. But for every follower of this scene it remains a mystery as to whose job it is to restrict this right. And for the follower of these conditions it remains an even bigger mystery, how the legislator could come to the obviously absurd idea to grant pimps an explicit right of direction over prostitutes. For not only in the last decades, but for many centuries, pimps have known how to give instructions in sufficiently known and often dramatic ways and means that are relevant to criminal law (i.e., with threats and violence).
However, since the entry into force of the first body of criminal law in 1532, the « Carolina » [iii], there had never been an explicit approval of this dynamic by the German legislator until the Prostitution Act entered into force on 1st January, 2002. In all other civilized countries of the world, this [restricted] right of direction that is expressly granted by the German legislator, would be penalized as pimping and thus as a misdemeanor or even as a crime!
The consequences of this strange and most offender-friendly legal provision were inevitable: suddenly the courts (e.g. the Augsburg District Court) refused to even accept complaints for proven pimping, referring to this right of direction. The exploiters had dictated, for example, prices, working hours, sexual practices, and the like; permanent nudity was mandatory for the prostitutes, and prostitutes or victims of the milieu were not allowed to make telephone calls. When at the end of 2001, federal politicians in Berlin clinked glasses with a brothel owner to celebrate the new Prostitution Law and the « end of old moral standards, » the consequences of this « progressive legislation » were a short time later deplored from many sides.
In 2004 at a hearing, also in Berlin it was established by NGOs, police officers and jurists that Germany, not least because of the Prostitution Act, is the worst performing country in the whole EU area, in the fight against human trafficking (trafficking in women and sexual slavery). To this day, this is likely to not have changed for the better, but to have rather deteriorated dramatically.
At the beginning of 2007, not least because of growing criticism from various sides as well as increased evidence of adverse developments, the federal government announced a reform of the Prostitution Act. But so far, nothing has been resolved.
In November 2010, during a Conference of Ministers of the Interior, the police chiefs of all German federal states pointed to the excesses that would result from the « legally sanctioned disinhibition », and in April 2011 the Federal Minister for Family Affairs announced a draft bill. It has not been drafted to this day.
The annual reports of the federal states’ police forces to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) continuously show no more than four, five or six hundred investigations into human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation (of which only a few lead to an appropriate judgment against the offender).
This alone is more than just an indication that this type of crime cannot (or cannot any longer) be successfully combated in Germany, but that it consists of a potentially gigantic underground world. Of about 400,000 women who prostitute themselves in Germany (or who are forced to do so), at least 50%, and in some cities or red light districts up to 90% (the trend is still rising), are foreigners mostly women (and children) from Eastern and Southeastern Europe. So there are several hundreds of thousands of foreign women who currently prostitute themselves in the Federal Republic of Germany or who are victims of human trafficking and sex slavery. And the now solidified and perfected structures of recruitment, smuggling and exploitation suggest that these women (and children) are victims not only in a few isolated cases, but very often. This conclusion is supported by largely consistent criminal intelligence, according to which 95-99% of the women working in the German milieu are under the control of others. As well as this, notice who is now acting and how things are determined in the German milieus, then you will inevitably come to the conclusion that there is hardly any room for free will. To sum up: human trafficking and sex slavery in Germany have most probably a gigantic and yet hardly imaginable underground world.
Travel facilities for offenders and victims
Since the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Community in 2007, women (and children) are increasingly trafficked from and via these two countries to Germany and brought here on the « Balkan route ». Thus also numerous Hungarian (Roma) women are suddenly found in the red light centers in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. And Bulgarian, Romanian and Hungarian pimps, too. But it wasn’t just the travel facilities associated with the EU accession of Bulgaria and Romania that were used immediately for recruiting and smuggling the victims of these markets. This fact proves how quickly and skillfully the internationally operating offenders and groups of offenders also respond to changes in border policies, and how dexterously they use existing loopholes.
Already in the year 2002 (the year of entry into force of the Prostitution Act), the German ambassador in the Republic of Moldova repeatedly pointed out to the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin that it was no longer the embassy staff, but only organized criminal groups who decided who receives a visa for entry from Moldova to Germany and who does not. At that time, there were long queues every morning in front of the building of the German embassy in Chișinău, the capital of Moldova. Three or four hundred people, mostly young men and young women, stood there patiently every day to get hold of a visa for entry into Germany. But that wasn’t all. In front of the embassy, next to bushes and under the trees, several highpowered DaimlerBenz luxury limousines with tinted windows were also parking there every morning, in time for the opening of the embassy.
And then there was day after day a continued movement out of the line of, people towards these vehicles, and then from the vehicles to the front part of the queue of those disciplined people waiting outside the embassy.
So it is only these gentlemen in the vehicles with the stars on the hoods who decided over long periods of time, who could enter the embassy building and who could not. And only those inspectors who were connected to organized crime decided who came into possession of a visa to enter Germany and who did not. It is reasonable to assume that apart from the few who could afford it it was primarily members of organized criminal groups and their helpers as well as their (potential) mostly female victims from this impoverished little country. It seems almost incredible: the ambassador’s cries for help remained unheard.
Only much later, attempts were made (without any noticeable results or consequences) to work up the matter (Visa resp. FischerVolmer affair with an investigative committee in 2005), and Foreign Minister Fischer was even called a « pimp » in Parliament. However, he was never punished as such.
Currently, the criminal Balkan syndicates and Albanian clans are obviously following with great interest the mediation talks about the possible and intended EU accession of Albania. The background: Albanian clans, the Albanian mafia, have in recent years breathed new life into the Kanun, the traditional and unwritten « laws of the mountains ». Not without reason, because according to these laws, women and children have almost no rights and are the property of men. This is important and useful, because these criminal clans have specialized (among others) in the trafficking of women and children; and they no longer only dominate the prostitution taking place in different parts of the Balkans, but also in many parts of Italy and in many cities and regions in Germany.
In addition, Albania (and its neighboring countries where Albanians live) has the youngest population in Europe. And with the numerous children and young women of the country (who are without legal recourse and in possession of the men) and those from other recruitment countries, obviously further trafficking and exploitation business is planned to a great extent. Mainly in the target country Germany, which is virtually predestined for such activities, which is already occupied by these clans almost everywhere and where the basis for them and their activities already exists.
While it still seems to be assumed in political Germany that a small and underdeveloped country can pose no danger, the Albanian mafia (after some particularly frightening and very painful experiences) is currently regarded by Italian experts and by the American FBI alike as the most dangerous criminal organization in the world.
With the aim of bringing the country of Albania closer to the EU, Albanians, since 15 October 2010, are also granted visafree travel to Germany provided that the travelers possess a biometric passport. This can be a financial problem for the ordinary Albanian citizen, but not for the criminals and the persons associated with organized crime and their victims and this loophole has been exploited from day one to a high degree.
And it isn’t only the clans acting from Albania who make use of these travel and entry provisions, but quite naturally also the criminals in Kosovo who are of Albanian origin. In fact, they would still need a visa to travel to Germany, but they use the daily ferry service from Durres in Albania to Bari, Italy to enter the EU and Germany. They would need a visa, but de facto, they don’t.
These few examples (there are many more of them) show that in the destination country Germany, preferred by both perpetrators and victims, there are no serious or effective barriers to prevent the trafficking and exploitation of commoditized women and children from Eastern and Southeastern Europe, for there are no more visa requirements or entry restrictions and no more border controls. This is why the trafficking of women and children from poor to rich countries or areas, from east to west or from the Balkans to Germany does not decrease, but continues to grow.
About police work in the redlight districts and about persons of the milieu before the court
Conventional and traditional policing means and methods have always been tools of little or no use when it comes to combating redlight crime effectively. What good is a hearing or an interrogation if the other person remains silent (or is lying)? What good is a phone tap, if the police are welcomed as listeners at the second spoken sentence? What good is a search in a prostitution site that has quite obviously been thoroughly cleaned a short time before? What good is a raid when the pimps, on arrival of the forces, are standing behind the counter, grinning, and the passports of the staff are already neatly prepared, placed ready for inspection? The redlight milieus are permanently looking for access to interesting and useful areas such as politics, economy, sports, media, justice, and not least to the police… And their efforts are anything but fruitless as delicate revelations prove time and again. After all, they offer powerful enticements: sex, money, unscrupulousness…
Given the opening of borders to the east and all now existing travel and entry facilities and opportunities; given the professionalism of the perpetrators and criminal groups in the areas of recruitment, smuggling and exploitation of their (potential) victims; given the changes in power relations in the milieu (German pimps were disempowered and integrated into the new structures, or they were displaced; foreign groups, often associated with organized crime, have now taken over); given the isolation and the often misunderstood properties and peculiarities of the German redlight or prostitution milieu, it is mostly only highly complex, longterm structural investigations, equipped with no guarantee of success, which can lead to investigative successes in the fields of redlight and organized crime. But it is precisely these which are made increasingly difficult or even impossible for the police due to:
- the desolate personnel situation,
- lack of resources,
- overlaps and other requirements (e.g., with the Islamist scene),
- pressure and pursuit of quick results,
- blind reliance on statistics or
defeats in court and other factors
However, the police (management) also contributes to this, when they all too quickly yield to the demands for fast (and yet often questionable) success; when they adore statistics and statistical figures all too much or even make them the sole yardstick of their actions; when, for these reasons and for such purposes, they do not give due importance to the crime milieu…
The abolition of the GeschlKrG (Law to combat sexually transmitted diseases), the deletion of the offense of promoting prostitution [« Streichung des Tatbestandes der Förderung der Prostitution »] (an admission ticket for the police to the milieu and an investigative fact [« Ermittlungstatbestand »], which was indeed in need of reform, but which is obviously not dispensable) and also the Prostitution Act itself significantly limited or rendered impossible police access and the controls which are necessarily required for an efficient and successful fight against crime. This current legal framework, in connection with all other offenderfriendly and crime facilitating [« tatfördernd »] changes (travel facilities, the lack of social awareness, clever
offender behavior, a powerless justice system…) gives rise to the fear that the police might withdraw more and more from such a thankless labor and crime field and turn to other, more rewarding tasks. Already the securing of one or two kilograms of the stuff that (bad) dreams are made of, which is possible with comparatively little effort, can be assessed and celebrated as a « success » in the context of combating organized crime although tons of this stuff are carted into the country every day and are, not least in the redlight districts, used as a « multi-purpose weapon » and sold to interested parties.
And if, occasionally, the fight of the police against redlight crime is successful, this is often enough nullified by the court. This is not attributable to the judiciary, to the courts or to individual judges, but it is a result of inadequate and in parts completely outdated criminal procedure provisions or of not very practicable penal provisions, which are in no way adjusted to the strategies and machinations of the current challenges.
No other social group has ever succeeded in overturning the rule of law so skillfully, so effectively and to such an extent as these criminal organizations and their bosses. The rule of law is hardly anywhere so mocked and humiliated as in the pimping or trafficking trials in German court rooms, crowded with and dominated by persons associated with organized crime. These people (and their lawyers) consciously and purposefully organize provocation, disturbance, intimidation, opposition, surprising statements and turns. They try to intimidate and to unsettle. They do not adhere to the rules of society but apply those of their underground parallel societies. In most cases, it is only very experienced judges, familiar with the machinations and methods of organized crime in the sex trade, who remain unimpressed.
Pimps prevent the presence of the victims in court, which is required for a judgment (arranging for them to be flown out to an unknown place). Should the victims nevertheless appear, the pimps prevent incriminating testimonies with mostly unnoticed, but highly effective methods (your little brother with be dead tomorrow if you…). They also know the constraints of the courts
and the judges and they take advantage of them to the limits the constraints of procedural economy. The people from this underworld, and their lawyers, enforce delays and adjournments of the trial, they continuously file evidence motions (which lead to Absurdistan), they force the courts again and again to make deals for the benefit of the offenders and to the dismay or horror of the victims.
Such deals and the resultant petty judgments are also suitable for causing frustration and demotivation among investigators and investigating authorities.
Such outcomes of these proceedings prove that the efforts required were not in proportion to the achieved result. The inevitable consequence of this might be: the efforts of the police will be adjusted to the expected results. Longterm and complex structural investigations will become less frequent or will not be undertaken at all. This in turn would lead to decreasing statistical numbers. Numbers that could be interpreted as if to show that redlight and organized crime were declining, which could ultimately satisfy (almost) everyone: the politicians, the police, the judiciary, the organized crime bosses, the milieu, the traffickers and the pimps… However, this would indeed not serve the (potential) victims. And neither would it serve the rule of law.
Concluding remarks on public relations
« I have thought for a long time about whether I should comment on this theme in public, » declared the secretary of state of a ministry that is responsible for the regulation of prostitution and related issues, before a televised debate on the subject of forced prostitution in a studio, and he also let it be known that the (female) Minister had refused to do that.
Besides false shame and lack of a sense of duty, it could also be inferred from these remarks that this country itself or precisely the central and competent authorities are lacking the required awareness of the problem. Certainly, the private and the public service broadcasters do not only invite ministers, for whom secretaries of state are sent as a substitute. And it is not only them who occasionally seem to lack the most elementary things, like an adequate awareness of the problem. After a boxing match, which, thanks to a knockout, found an all too quick end, a television reporter did not address the celebrities seated ringside Franz Beckenbauer, Günter Jauch and others to fill the airtime. Instead, the microphone was put under the nose of a pimp who was also sitting in the front row section reserved for VIPs. Still a little pale from serving a prison sentence for human trafficking, he then stammered little of significance about the course of the fight into the microphone; apart from a few of the usual wild brawls in the criminal milieu, he had and has no idea of boxing.
Whether, to whom or in what amount there had been cash flow for this obscure appearance, or what other sweet temptations were promised to whom, was not made public of course.
Other brothel operators and top pimps in this country have been repeatedly allowed to appear on talk shows; they were courted in front of the camera as clever businessmen (brothel establishments on the stock market!) or presented to the astonished audience as colorful personalities of modern society, admired as collectors of outrageously expensive Ferraris or as princes of purchased nobility.
Still others were transformed all of a sudden, in the midst of this our society, into serious traders and entrepreneurs. They act as major investors in the field of leisure facilities, wellness establishments, adventure sauna landscapes… They built luxury brothels, camouflaged as leisure facilities, opportunely placed next to airports, business or political centers or next to the Police Academy (nothing is random in these milieus, everything is strategy). Still others have allegedly left the business and are suddenly managers of sports stars, or they have even mutated into parliamentarians…
All this can of course also be said in a simpler and shorter way, by expressing the suspicion or certainty: they (and with them, possibly organized criminal groups) infiltrate society and penetrate into it. They are skillfull, clever, successful…
It is to be hoped that their victims did not and do not see the aforementioned shows and presentations on German television.
It also remains to be hoped that they do not hear the popping of corks after so many legislative initiatives, travel provision, after failed prosecutions, petty judgments and acquittals, and that they do not know that their exploiters in this country are wading in champagne. Elina, the young and pretty woman, hidden deep in the Albanian mountains, who was exploited and severely traumatized in the German redlight milieu, will be spared this knowledge at least for the time being, for a television is not available there.
[i] Translation of: