The men, who are reportedly between the ages of 21 and 28, are all Lithuanian citizens and are under suspicion of selling the sexual favours of some fifteen Lithuanian women, of which nine are plaintiffs in the trial, according to newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).
The crimes, namely procuring and human trafficking, are said to have been committed in several flats and hotel rooms in the capital between November 2010 and August 2011.
The group attracted clients mainly through internet advertising, accoridng to the paper.
The charge sheet against the men states that they recruited financially vulnerable women in Lithuania with misleading information regarding the money and other perks they would receive if they worked as prostitutes in Sweden.
Once in Sweden, the women were at the mercy of the men, had no say in who their clients would be, and received a much lower pay than they had been promised.
One didn’t get paid at all.
Five of the men are charged with aggravated offences due to their involvement in what appears to be an organized and extensive operation, generating several hundred thousands of kronor.
Two of the men, aged 21 and 22, are believed to have pocketed the majority of the profit.
According to DN, prosecutor Sara Lindqvist believes that they have been in charge of the operation, that they were the ones instructing the other perpetrators and recruited the women.
Leif Silbersky, defence lawyer to one of the two, claims that his client stays adamant he is innocent.
“He completely denies all allegations,” said Silbersky to DN.
The police surveillance and investigation took place over a long period of time and the body of evidence is significant, according to the paper.
“That can be interpreted in several ways,” said Silbersky to DN, adding that the trial will continue for some time and that he was unable to disclose anything else his client had said about the case.
All of the charged men deny the allegations against them.