Recent reports indicate that the Australian police have organized raids that targeted the illegal sexclubs in Canberra. It was already a known fact that a lot of women are forced to work as prostitutes. Sex trafficking is a major problem the authorities face nowadays.

Only in Canberra, ten illegal brothels were identified to operate freely. The local authorities are determined to take all the necessary measures in order to stop illegal prostitution. As a result of these raids, four people have been charged. Scott Moller, a detective from Canberra, stated that in the last years, this type of illegal businesses increased. Last year, in September, the police found three Thai women, who were working illegally, without a valid visa. Unfortunately, a lot of women are trafficked by the organized crime.

The women were told they will work as maids and waitresses

According to our sources, the traffickers made a habit of exploiting vulnerable women. The police discovered the women were told they are going to Australia to work as maids and waitresses. Unfortunately, everything was a lie and they were forced to prostitute themselves. The majority of them don’t speak English. The only thing they could do was to obey and do what they were told.

Footage of an apartment that was used for illegal prostitution was provided after a search. The women were forced to endure precarious conditions. All the rooms were unhygienic, covered in dirt and mold.

There are support services, such as “Sex Workers Outreach Program”. The main objective of this institution is to help the women who were sexually exploited in order to be reintegrated into society. It is hard for the authorities to obtain testimonials from these women because of the linguistic barriers. Sometimes, the police hire translators who can facilitate the procedures. The majority of the women found in the illegal sexclubs in Canberra were mostly trafficked from South-East Asia. In many cases, the traffickers took the women’s passports to be sure they won’t be able to escape.

These vulnerable women are “the modern slaves”

It’s hard to imagine what they’ve been through, taking into consideration these women were enslaved in a foreign country with an unfamiliar language and far from their families. The local authorities try to offer support for the victims, so that they don’t end up on the streets. These women are also provided psychological and medical support.

The victims are afraid to be witnesses in the court, because they are frightened of traffickers. The police department is also concerned about the complicity of the clients who helped this business to grow very fast. The positive aspect is there are also people from the local community who are against this type of illicit activity.  In September, three illegal sexclubs in Canberra were identified as a result of public tip-off.

Conclusion

The authorities asked Canberrans to be vigilant and to inform the police if they notice an unusually high number of people (especially men), coming and going from nearby buildings at strange hours. One of the difficulties that police face is that traffickers started to change the locations in order not to be caught. This strategy transformed this business into a “hide-and-seek game” between the police and the traffickers.

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