Russians and Swedes charged with selling women for sex

A group of 24 Russians and Swedes were charged in Gothenburg on Tuesday with human trafficking, pimping and buying sex from nine Russian women, the prosecutor said.

Four Russian citizens, three men and one woman, were charged with aggravated pimping and human trafficking and face a maximum of eight years in prison and deportation.

Twenty other men, all Swedes, were charged with buying sex or attempting to buy sex.

Under Swedish law, it is illegal to buy sex but not to sell it.

Perpetrators are usually fined, but prosecutor Thomas Ahlstrand told AFP he wanted to charge the men in order to have the court hear their testimony against the four Russians.

“The testimonies are necessary for the evidence in the case and there is also a need to differentiate between the sentences depending on the circumstances surrounding the purchase.”

The crimes were believed to have been committed over a period of three to four years, between 2003 and 2006.

The prosecutor said he was only able to prove human trafficking in one of the cases and said the other eight women had come from Russia to Sweden of their own will.

The trial was set to begin on April 24th.