Eight Jailed for Human Trafficking & Sexual Exploitation in Koper

By , 30 Dec 2018, 12:00 PM News
Eight Jailed for Human Trafficking & Sexual Exploitation in Koper Flickr - Ira Gelb, CC BY-ND 2.0

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STA, 29 December 2018 - Three years after house searches at three night clubs in Nova Gorica and Sežana, eight defendants were handed down prison sentences for coercing women into prostitution, the newspaper Primorske Novice reported on Saturday.

The sentences, pronounced by the Koper District Court on Friday, range from three and a half years in prison to suspended sentences, but are not final yet.

The court found the defendants guilty of abusing at least ten women, mostly from Ukraine, for prostitution, whereas the prosecution spoke of 70.

Iryna Uršič as ring leader was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, her aides Iryna Ahaponova and Maria Fedotova to two years and to 18 months in prison, respectively.

Uršič and Fedotova had been in detention until March 2017, when the trial started.

The other five defendants, of whom two men, received suspended sentences.

Uršič will also have to pay a fine of 8,850 euros and return almost 81,000 euros in illegal gain, whereas the company Euromega was fined almost 60,000 euros.

The defendants can lodge an appeal against the sentences, with Uršič announcing it even before the verdicts were delivered.

In May 2016, the Specialised Prosecution Office filed changes of human trafficking against 12 persons and two companies, but later changed them to the crime of abuse for the purpose of prostitution, dropping them against two suspects, while one died and one pleaded guilty.

Related: Report Finds Some Progress on Human Trafficking in Slovenia

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