|06ATHENS571||2006-03-01 05:00:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Athens|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 ATHENS 000571
1. The following is Sensitive but Unclassified. Please
2. (SBU) Below are Embassy Athens' responses to the 2006 TIP
report questionnaire. Text is keyed to Ref A request for
"Investigation and Prosecution" Section. This is the third
of four cables.
3. INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS:
For questions A-D, posts should highlight in particular
whether or not the country has enacted any new legislation
since the last TIP report.
-- A. Does the country have a law specifically prohibiting
trafficking in persons--both trafficking for sexual
exploitation and trafficking for non-sexual purposes (e.g.
forced labor)? If so, what is the law? Does the law(s) cover
both internal and external (transnational) forms of
trafficking? If not, under what other laws can traffickers be
prosecuted? For example, are there laws against slavery or
the exploitation of prostitution by means of coercion or
fraud? Are these other laws being used in trafficking cases?
Are these laws, taken together, adequate to cover the full
scope of trafficking in persons? Please provide a full
inventory of trafficking laws, including civil penalties,
(e.g., civil forfeiture laws and laws against illegal debt).
Greek law 3064/2002 signed in October 2002 and Presidential
Decree 233/2003 specifically prohibit trafficking in persons
for sex or labor inside or outside Greek territory, and are
considered by NGO legal experts to be model pieces of
In 2005, the Parliament passed a new Immigration Law
(3386/2005), which, among general immigration provisions,
also provides for central issuance and renewal of residence
permits for TIP victims with no fee, special care for minor
victims, and a one month reflection period, which can be
extended for minors. (Ref 05 Athens 2113) Excerpts of the
relevant articles are available in English for review.
The Law on Organized Crime (2928/2001), which applies to TIP
cases when an organized network is involved in the
trafficking, governs investigative capabilities of law
enforcement and provides for witness protection.
In 2004, the MOJ amended certain provisions of Presidential
Decree 233/2003. The amended Presidential Decree guarantees
victim benefits from the provisions on protection, support
and assistance, as well as requires that NGOs be accredited
to offer assistance during screening procedures and victim
support. The Ministry of Interior's 2004 amendments to the
Presidential Decree to allow foreign victims of trafficking a
combined residence and work permits and to exempt victims
from paying a deposit for the permits were included in the
2005 Immigration Law. Other laws on pimping, illegal
prostitution, violence, rape, exploitation, and coercion have
been used in the past to combat TIP and are sufficient to
cover the full scope of trafficking.
-- B. What are the penalties for traffickers of people for
sexual exploitation? For traffickers of people for labor
Penalties for trafficking in people for sexual or labor
exploitation vary, but include incarceration for up to ten
years and a fine of 10,000 to 50,000 euros. Offenders who
exploit minors, exploit employees, or cause serious physical
injury to victims face a minimum ten year imprisonment and
fine of 50,000 to 100,000 euros. Traffickers who kill their
victims face life imprisonment. Because felony trials
usually require at least 5-6 years to fully make their way
through the appeals process, there has not yet been a fully
appealed conviction under the 2002 anti-trafficking law.
There are numerous ongoing trials, including trials resulting
from 2005 arrests, which have not yet been appealed. NGOs
and the Embassy will follow the two trials of convicted
trafficker Dimitris Pallas scheduled to be heard on April 5
and 6 in Northern Greece.
-- C. What are the penalties for rape or forcible sexual
assault? How do they compare to the penalty for sex
Penalties for rape and forcible sexual assault vary depending
on the circumstances surrounding the crime and the damage to
the victim, but range from five years to life imprisonment.
The penalties compare appropriately to those for sex
-- D. Is prostitution legalized or decriminalized?
Specifically, are the activities of the prostitute
criminalized? Are the activities of the brothel
owner/operator, clients, pimps, and enforcers criminalized?
Are these laws enforced? If prostitution is legal and
regulated, what is the legal minimum age for this activity?
Note that in many countries with federalist systems,
prostitution laws may be covered by state, local, and
Prostitution and brothel ownership are legal and regulated by
the state. Prostitutes must register at the local prefecture
and carry a medical card that is updated every two weeks.
The minimum age is 18 (according to Article 6 of law
1193/81). Most prostitution in Greece that occurs is
illegal, that is, the prostitutes are not licensed by the
state - and they work through newspaper ads, private
operators, in bars, or in strip clubs.
-- E. Has the Government prosecuted any cases against
traffickers? If so, provide numbers of investigations,
prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, including details
on plea bargains and fines, if relevant and available. Are
the traffickers serving the time sentenced: If no, why not?
Please indicate whether the government can provide this
information, and if not, why not? (Note: complete answers to
this section are essential. End Note)
The Government reported that in 2005, there were 60 cases of
trafficking investigated by law enforcement authorities; 59
cases of sexual exploitation and 1 case of labor
exploitation. 17 were committed by organized crime networks.
There were 202 perpetrators arrested and charged under
articles 323A (Trafficking in Persons) and 351 (Trade in
Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation) of the anti-trafficking
law (3064/2002). Of the 202 perpetrators arrested in 2005:
--(1) was convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment,
--(1) was convicted and sentenced to eighteen months
imprisonment and fined 8,000 euros under law 2910/01 for
trafficking related crimes, but a trial is pending under the
--(1) was convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment
and fined 10,000 euros under law 2910/01 for trafficking
related crimes, but a trial is pending under law 3064.
--(33) are being held in pre-trial detention.
--(19) were detained and deported based on minor charges and
are barred from re-entering Greece for a period of
approximately 5 years.
--(30) were released but a trial date has been set.
--(50) were granted conditional release (defendant must post
bail, report to the police every 15 days, and not leave the
country) pending trial.
--(55) were released pending completion of final
--(12) were charged but have not yet been arrested pending
completion of investigation. (MPO reports that the last two
categories cover arrests made in late 2005 where
investigations were ongoing because the trafficker was not
caught in the act of trafficking.)
Under Greek law, each conviction will be appealed at least
one time and can also go to the Supreme Court for a second
appeal. The conviction will not be final until appeals are
completed. GoG reps could not provide info about whether
traffickers were serving the time sentenced until the cases
had worked through the appeals process.
Some cases in which perpetrators were arrested in 2004 came
to trial in 2005. Of those perpetrators:
--(1) was convicted and sentenced to 12 years and fined
--(1) was convicted and sentenced to 12 years and 10 months.
--(1) was convicted and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment.
--(2) were convicted and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment.
--(1) was convicted and sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.
Again, these convictions are pending appeal. There were
press and NGO reports of trials during the year where
perpetrators were convicted but released on bail. In
October, for example, a court in Serres, near the Bulgarian
border, sentenced three Greek nationals (two men and a woman)
to 15-17 years imprisonment for trafficking. However, the
three suspects were released on bail pending appeal, and
those appeals have not yet come before the courts.
-- F. Is there any information or reports of who is behind
the trafficking? For example, are the traffickers freelance
operators, small crime groups, and/or large international
organized crime syndicates? Are employment, travel, and
tourism agencies or marriage brokers fronting for traffickers
or crime groups to traffic individuals? Are government
officials involved? Are there any reports of where profits
from trafficking in persons are being channeled? (e.g. armed
groups, terrorist organizations, judges, banks, etc.)
Arrest statistics and police reports indicate that Greek and
Eastern European criminals and mafia are the primary movers
in illegal trafficking rings, though the size and nature of
trafficking organizations is said to vary widely. MPO
statistics show that 202 perpetrators were arrested and
charged in 2005 with violations of Article 323A and 351 of
the anti-TIP law (3064/02). There were 133 Greek
perpetrators, 28 Romanian perpetrators, 13 Albanian
perpetrators, 12 Bulgarian perpetrators, 3 Russian
perpetrators, 3 Moldovan perpetrators, and 1 perpetrator each
from Armenia, India, Ukraine, Pakistan, and Turkey. NGOs in
Greece and abroad, the media, and police report that some
travel agencies, especially those that deal with Eastern
Europe, are involved in trafficking rings. NGO activists and
journalists reported that some Greek consular officials
abroad facilitate trafficking by granting visas, possibly via
bribery or coercion, to TIP victims. There are no reports to
indicate profits going to terrorist organizations;
information from arrests indicates that most profits go to
-- G. Does the government actively investigate cases of
trafficking? Does the government use active investigative
techniques in TIP investigations? To the extent possible
under domestic law, are techniques such as electronic
surveillance, undercover operations, and mitigated punishment
or immunity for cooperating suspects used by the government?
Does the criminal procedure code or other laws prohibit the
police from engaging in covert operations?
The MPO has the lead in actively investigating trafficking
cases. The Hellenic Police have deployed specialized
anti-trafficking units in Athens and Thessaloniki since 2003.
The Chief of Police established 12 new anti-trafficking
police units throughout Greece in January 2006. The units
were established in the prefectures of Arcadia, Achia,
Ioannina, Kozani, Larisa, Rodopi, Serres, Fthiotida and the
islands of Crete, Corfu, Lesbos, and the island chain of the
Cyclades. The units are specially trained to conduct all TIP
operations and respond to all TIP incidents encountered by
other officers. NGOs complain that if a TIP case does not
lead to a crime and arrest, the police are often unwilling to
pursue the case solely on the basis of victim protection.
Police officials use active techniques -- posing as clients,
collecting intelligence, and answering newspaper ads -- to
investigate cases. Greek witness protection programs are far
less advanced than in the U.S. Greek law does not prohibit
undercover operations, as long as prosecutorial permission is
obtained. Police regularly break up trafficking rings and
arrest suspected traffickers. Law enforcement authorities
can actively investigate TIP cases under the provisions of
the Organized Crime law and do so to the extent possible
under domestic law. Greek law allows for limited electronic
surveillance, though it is not always admissible in court.
-- H. Does the government provide any specialized training
for government officials in how to recognize, investigate,
and prosecute instances of trafficking?
From October to December 2005 the MFA funded training
seminars for over 1,300 police officers and other law
enforcement officers in eight cities throughout Greece. The
International Police Association, in cooperation with the
European Law Center, trained the police with the active
participation of judges, prosecutors, IOM and nine different
NGOs who provided speakers and lecturers. In 2006, the MFA
signed an agreement with the President of the Union of
Prosecutors for TIP training for prosecutors throughout
Greece. This is a key development since prosecutors have
responsibility for characterizing TIP victims and trying TIP
--I. Does the government cooperate with other governments in
the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases? If
possible, can post provide the number of cooperative
international investigations on trafficking?
Greece is a leader in promoting increased regional law
enforcement cooperation. During the reporting period, the
GoG organized major regional conferences (Ref Athens 346,
Thessaloniki 14), and an SEECP Justice and Home Affairs
Ministerial on improved regional cooperation to combat TIP
(Ref Athens 512). In April 2005, a protocol of cooperation
was signed between Greek and Albanian law enforcement
authorities, and in 2005, Greek and Albanian law enforcement
officials held meetings in both countries to strengthen
cooperation and discuss improvements in jointly fighting
trans-border organized crime, including TIP (Ref 05 Thess
87). In February 2005, Greece and BiH signed bilateral
agreements governing police cooperation.
-- J. Does the government extradite persons who are charged
with trafficking in other countries? If so, can post provide
the number of traffickers extradited? Does the government
extradite its own nationals charged with such offenses? If
not, is the government prohibited by law form extraditing its
own nationals? If so, what is the government doing to modify
its laws to permit the extradition of its own nationals?
The Greek Government can extradite persons charged with
trafficking to other countries, however we have no
information on such extraditions. Greek citizens can be
extradited to EU countries that are parties to the "EU arrest
warrant," but are protected from extradition to certain
countries. For example, Greek nationals are protected from
extradition to the U.S. based on article 8 of the 1931
-- K. Is there evidence of government involvement in or
tolerance of trafficking, on a local or institutional level?
If so, please explain in detail.
There is no evidence of government involvement in trafficking
on an institutional level. NGOs and the media report that
some local police take bribes or free sex services from
traffickers, patronize establishments implicated in TIP, or
ignore the problem. Anecdotal reports support this
phenomenon. There were accusations made by an NGO of
corruption at a Greek consulate in Russia because it had
issued legitimate visas to TIP victims with little
documentary evidence and no personal interview, either of
which might have uncovered misrepresentations on the visa
applications. (Note: Not all Russian applicants are asked to
travel to Moscow for interviews. End Note.)
Though there was no evidence of a direct relationship to TIP
in the following case, in 2005, a retired Greek MFA employee
was arrested and charged with fraudulently issuing some 2,400
valid Schengen Visas to Ukrainian nationals while he was
assigned to the Greek mission in Kiev between November 2001
and March 2002. (Ref 05 Athens 3144)
-- L. If government officials are involved in trafficking,
what steps has the government taken to end such
participation? Have any government officials been prosecuted
for involvement in trafficking or trafficking- related
corruption? Have any been convicted? What actual sentence
was imposed? Please provide specific numbers, if available.
The GoG provided no information about government officials
involved in trafficking.
Local press in Northern Greece reported in July 2005 that a
trafficking ring operating in Thrace under police protection
had been dismantled. Five traffickers were accused of
bringing dozens of young women from Eastern Europe into
Greece over the last four years. Three unnamed policemen -
two of them described as "high-ranking" officers - face
charges of bribery and abetting a criminal enterprise. A
former local mayor and members of his staff were allegedly
involved in document fraud. At last report, the
investigation was ongoing.
-- M. If the country has an identified child sex tourism
problem (as source or destination), how many foreign
pedophiles has the government prosecuted or
deported/extradited to their country of origin? Does the
country's child sexual abuse laws have extraterritorial
coverage (like the U.S. PROTECT Act)?
Greece has not been identified to have a child sex tourism
problem either as a source, transit, or destination country.
In February and October 2005, the police dismantled networks
dealing in child pornography through the Internet. Six
Greeks, identified to be members of international networks,
were arrested and charged under child pornography statutes.
The newly established Internet Crime Police Division arrested
9 persons and filed lawsuits against 19 others for dealing in
Internet child pornography during the coordinated EU
operation "Purity" in April 2005. The division, which
prioritizes and aggressively pursues child pornography cases,
reported a 600 percent annual increase of crime through the
Internet in 2005.
-- N. Has the government signed, ratified, and/or taken steps
to implement the following international instruments? Please
provide the date of signature/ ratification if appropriate.
The GOG ratified ILO convention 182 on June 15, 2001; ILO
convention 29 on June 13, 1952; and ILO convention 105 on
June 19, 1961.
The GoG signed the optional protocol to the Convention of the
Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child
Prostitution, and Child Pornography on September 7, 2000.
The GoG signed the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish
Trafficking in Persons, supplementing the UN Convention
against Transnational Organized Crime on December 13, 2000.
Additionally, Greece signed the Council of Europe Convention
Against Trafficking in Human Beings 17 November 2005 and
reports it will soon ratify this instrument. The convention
is said to contain more binding language than the Palermo
Protocol and establishes mechanisms to ensure compliance.
The Council of Europe calls it "a comprehensive treaty that
mainly focuses on the protection of victims of trafficking
and safeguarding of their rights." It also aims at
preventing trafficking and prosecuting traffickers. The
Convention applies to all forms of trafficking, national or
transnational, related to organized crime or not, any type of
victims - women, men, or children, and any form of
exploitation, sexual, forced labor or services, etc, which is
in line with the existing Greek legal framework. The
Convention provides for setting up an independent monitoring
mechanism guaranteeing parties compliance with its
Greece 2006 TIP Report Submission Continued Septel.