• Switzerland's news in English
 

Brothel owner jailed for human trafficking

Published: 29 May 2013 20:00 GMT+02:00

A 38-year-old Turkish man was jailed by a Seeland-Jura regional court following a trial along with three associates who were found to have lesser culpability, with one of them accused of drug trafficking charges.

The former owner of a brothel in Nidau (canton of Bern) was found guilty of buying women, largely from Romania, and forcing them into prostitution, the court heard earlier, the ATS news agency reported.

The women — around 45 were involved — were forced either to work in the man’s house of ill repute or in bars around German-speaking Switzerland during a period between 2004 and 2007.

The women worked up to 11 hours a day, six or seven days a week, the prosecutor said, ATS reported.

Entering Switzerland as tourists, they were kept under constant surveillance by the brothel owner’s associates.

The owner also resorted to violence, threatening and hitting some of the women to instil a climate of terror, the prosecutor said.

The convicted man, who first came to Switzerland as an asylum seeker at the age of 20, denied the charges, ATS said.

He maintained that his female employees had exercised their activities “with pleasure” and that he did not have enough places to accommodate all the applicants who wanted to work for him.

The Turk was arrested in 2007 after a total of 200 police officers took part in an operation to counter human trafficking in Nidau and in Tuggen in the canton of Schwyz.

The prosecutor sought a ten-year jail term against him.

The federal government has announced plans to crack down on such human trafficking, although support groups say not enough funding is made available to help victims.

Every year, an assistance centre for human trafficking victims in Zurich aids 200 people, most of them women.

Government funding to help integrate former prostitutes into society is insufficient, say groups such as Amnesty International Switzerland and the Swiss organization for refugee aid.

A recent move to raise the age of legal prostitution from 16 to 18 was welcomed after Switzerland faced international pressure over the issue.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Refugees get 'priority over foreigners' for jobs
Photo: Seco

Refugees get 'priority over foreigners' for jobs

The federal government is backing moves by the cantons, municipalities and employers’ groups to give priority to hiring refugees living in Switzerland over workers from outside the country. READ  

Horseplay triggers A1 motorway vehicle crash
Photo: Saint Gallen cantonal police

Horseplay triggers A1 motorway vehicle crash

Too much horsepower — literally — was blamed for causing a costly motor vehicle accident on the A1 motorway in the canton of Saint Gallen. READ  

Vatican foiled over bid to hide Swiss bank data
Photo: Jean-Pol Grandmont

Vatican foiled over bid to hide Swiss bank data

A top Swiss court on Monday rejected an appeal by the Vatican's bank to keep secret information from one of its Swiss bank accounts suspected of being used for fraud. READ  

Anglo expats mine creativity to earn crust
Gareth Knott: "Thankfully design is a universal language." Photo: Handout

Anglo expats mine creativity to earn crust

Switzerland’s job market is appealingly lucrative but sometimes anglophones need to be creative to find a job in a country where English is not an official language, as The Local's Emily Mawson finds out. READ  

Libya talks struggle to cement unity deal

A new round of peace talks between Libya's warring factions resumed in Geneva on Monday as the country continued to struggle with divisions. READ  

Presented by CurrencyFair
Avoid the costs of wild Swiss currency swings
Is any currency reliable forever? Photo: Shutterstock

Avoid the costs of wild Swiss currency swings

Want to avoid getting stung by currency fluctuations like those unleashed when the Swiss National Bank scrapped the Swiss franc’s peg to the euro? Join other expats in Switzerland who averted bank fees and market turmoil by sending money internationally with CurrencyFair. READ  

More work for same pay: firms tackle high franc
Photo: Stadler Rail

More work for same pay: firms tackle high franc

Responding to the surge in the value of the Swiss franc, certain companies in Switzerland are asking their employees to work longer hours without any extra pay. READ  

Tennis: Australian Open
Wawrinka wins tiebreak thriller to make quarters
Photo: STRDL/AFP

Wawrinka wins tiebreak thriller to make quarters

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka won a thrilling fourth set tiebreaker on Monday to down Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and book a place in the Australian Open quarterfinals. READ  

Average new Swiss cars have bigger engines
With an average horsepower of 342, Porsche had the most powerful engines among cars bought by Swiss motorists last year. Photo: UggBoy

Average new Swiss cars have bigger engines

Driving cars with bigger engines may be politically incorrect in some quarters but that isn’t stopping many Swiss motorists. READ  

World Economic Forum: Davos
Davos forum runs without security hitches
Snowmen at Davos. Photo: action/2015

Davos forum runs without security hitches

The 45th annual World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, which wound up at the weekend, ran smoothly without any security issues, Graubünden cantonal authorities said. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Number of 'immigrants' swells to third of Swiss population: report
International
Pricey Switzerland tops latest global cost of living study
National
Swiss travel agents and retailers cut prices after franc surge
Technology
Solar Impulse team unveils round-the-world route for sun-powered plane
Business & Money
Swiss central bank's shock move to let franc rise sparks debate
National
Markets panic as Swiss National Bank scraps euro rate cap
National
VIDEO: Swiss soldiers publish pictures of antics on internet
National
A portrait of modern Switzerland in ten stats
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Features
Geneva-based expat pens seismic novel about Haitian homeland
Features
Tons of explosives finally removed from hundreds of Swiss sites
International
'Don't succumb to fear': Swiss President Sommaruga on terrorism
Sport
Federer claims historic 1,000th win at Brisbane tennis tournament
National
Swiss newspapers condemn deadly Charlie Hebdo terror attack
Business & Money
Hackers steal client information from Geneva cantonal bank
National
Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris sparks Swiss rallies
National
Pop star Madonna leaves her mark during Swiss mountain holiday
National
Disassembled Solar Impulse heads to Emirates in jumbo jet
National
US ambassador in Bern sparks flap over Swiss ski lift line 'chaos'
National
New President Sommaruga lauds 'bold' Swiss democracy
National
Hopes fade of finding missing Scottish researcher still alive
National
Scientists in Lausanne and Belgium step up search for alien life
National
Nude 'selfie' mayor heads Switzerland's top ten scandal list
Features
The Local's top ten snow sport alternatives to skiing in Switzerland
Culture
Suspected stabber Nabilla given conditional release from detention
International
Swiss hotel school grad 'hero' among Australian café siege victims
Business & Money
Switzerland cracks top ten list of best countries for business
Business & Money
Swiss National Bank imposes negative interest rates
Politics
Federal cabinet ministers rapped for accepting new limouisines
International
Swiss chocolate café at centre of hostage-taking drama Down Under
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Features
Exploring the 'most beautiful village' in French-speaking Switzerland
Business & Money
Italian thieves steal 260 tons of Swiss Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate
National
World's longest train tunnel — under the Swiss Alps — set to open in 2016
National
Porn film on video screen spices up fare at Swiss McDonald's restaurant
National
Masturbation scene in Swiss TV ad for Media Markt draws complaints
National
Cantonal lawmakers end 'happy hours' tippling in Vaud pubs and bars
Politics
Former concert pianist Sommaruga elected as next Swiss president
Culture
Jailed German art forger's paintings go on sale at Bern gallery
Business & Money
Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad's family listed as Switzerland's richest
Features
Long-time expats face dilemma: to be or not to be a Swiss citizen
National
Switzerland's voters massively reject strict immigration limits
Business & Money
Pieces of Napoleon's auctioned hair to be put in Geneva luxury watches
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,147
jobs available