wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08ATHENS959 2008-07-03 12:32:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Athens
Cable title:  

GREECE: JUNE TIP UPDATE

Tags:   PHUM PGOV PREL SMIG KCRM KWMN GR 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO0573
OO RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHYG
DE RUEHTH #0959/01 1851232
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 031232Z JUL 08 ZDK DUE TO NUMEROUS SVCS
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2108
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0345
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ATHENS 000959 

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT ALSO FOR EUR/SE AND G/TIP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL SMIG KCRM KWMN GR
SUBJECT: GREECE: JUNE TIP UPDATE

ATHENS 00000959 001.3 OF 002


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- PROTECT ACCORDINGLY



1. (SBU) SUMMARY AND INTRODUCTION: This is the first in what
we intend to be regular updates on Greece's efforts to combat
trafficking in persons (TIP). In June, Greek authorities in
cooperation with Europol and officials from neighboring
countries, broke up three trafficking rings and granted
assistance and official victim status to a number of women
and girls exploited by the rings. On June 2, governors of
border provinces in Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey met as part
of their on-going discussions on trafficking issues and
re-affirmed their commitment to support victims and
strengthen measures against traffickers. A Greek and
Bulgarian were arrested for running an agricultural labor
trafficking operation in northern Greece. The European
Women's Network (ENOW), Klimaka, and the Greek Council for
Refugees -- all dynamic NGOs and official partners of the MFA
in combating TIP -- complained about the adverse impact on
their operations of delays in receiving funds from the
Development Aid Division of the MFA. END SUMMARY AND
INTRODUCTION.

Bulgarian Women Freed in Peloponese


--------------------------





2. (SBU) On June 9, the Organized Crime section of the
Hellenic Police busted a ring trafficking Bulgarian women in
the southern Greek region of the Peloponese. The women
allegedly were lured to Greece on the promise of decent jobs,
but were held captive and forced into prostitution in local
night clubs and bars, reportedly in collaboration with the
owners of the establishments. The network was dismantled
through the cooperation of the Greek police with Europol and
Bulgarian police authorities. A Greek bar owner, three
Bulgarians, and an Albanian citizen were arrested. Police
confiscated 2,030 euro a BMW car, and a device for snorting
cocaine. The ring was uncovered when one woman escaped and
reported her ordeal to the police. The three women freed
were terrified. They were examined by the Prosecutor, who
gave them trafficking-victim status.

Romanian Trafficking Ring Dismantled


--------------------------





3. (SBU) On June 9, the Athens Police announced its breakup
of a Romanian trafficking network operating in Greece and
other countries. The ring allegedly recruited poor women in
Romania on the promise of legal jobs in restaurants and as
baby sitters. An underage victim of the gang who had been
forced to work as a prostitute at various brothels in Athens,
escaped and went to the police. The Police conducted an
investigation and sting operation that resulted in the arrest
of a Polish man and a Romanian woman and liberated two other
women victims of the gang. The women were referred to the
shelter of the NGO European Women's Network in Athens.
Police confiscated 2,000 euro in cash, bankbooks with
deposits of 20,000 euro three counterfeit stamps of a local
police station, and a large quantity of notes with telephone
numbers of clients and dates. The suspects were brought
before the Public Prosecutor on June 11, and the victims were
given official recognition as such by the Prosecutor.

Albanian Charged with Abduction and Trafficking


--------------------------

--



4. (SBU) On June 30, a 22-year-old Albanian man was charged
with abduction and forcing a 14-year-old female compatriot
into prostitution. According police and NGO sources, the
suspect first began a relationship with the underage girl
last December and later kidnapped her, brought her to Greece,
kept her captive, and forced her into prostitution in the
Platomonas area in north-central Greece. After Platomonas he
moved her to Porto Rafti near Athens, where the girl managed
to escape and called the police for help. Police arrested
the Albanian national. The victim was referred to the
shelter of faith-based NGO Solidarity and received victim
status by the Prosecutor.

Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian Governors Discuss TIP


--------------------------

--



5. (SBU) The governors of border provinces in Greece, Turkey,
and Bulgaria met in Turkey June 2 to discuss human
trafficking and trafficking in women. Turkish northwestern
province of Edirne Governor Mustafa Buyuk hosted governors
from Greece's Xanthi and Evros, as well as Bulgaria's Haskovo
and Smolen, provinces. The governors issued a joint
statement following the meeting in which they underscored
their commitment to support victims of trafficking during

ATHENS 00000959 002.2 OF 002


extradition procedures, provide them psyhological help, and
reinforce security system in these countries. The meeting
was within the framework of ongoing border cooperation
between Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria.

Two arrests for labor trafficking


--------------------------





6. (SBU) A Greek and a Bulgarian national were arrested in
the north-central prefecture of Pieria in late June for
forcing 11 Bulgarians, including an underage girl, to work as
agricultural laborers. The victims, all from the same
Bulgarian village, were lured across the border illegally
with promises of jobs in tobacco farms for 50 euro a day.
Upon arrival, the victims allegedly had their documents taken
away and were forced to work in appalling conditions for 14
hours a day seven days a week without food and paid only 10
euro a day. The exploitation was revealed when one worker
called a member of his family requesting her to deposit 600
euro in a bank in the name of the Greek owner of the farm in
order to be allowed to leave. The victims were helped by
volunteers of the European Women's Network, which paid for
their hotel expenses for two days and helped with their
repatriation to Bulgaria.

NGOs complain of delays in financing from YDAS


--------------------------

-



7. (SBU) The European Women's Network (ENOW), Klimaka, and
the Greek Council for Refugees -- all dynamic NGOs and
official partners of the MFA in combating trafficking in
persons -- complained to us about delays in receiving funds
from the Development Aid Division of the MFA. All three NGOs
said cooperation with the Development Aid Division of the MFA
was not regularized and, as a result, funds were made
available only after very long delays. As a result, Klimaka
was forced to close a trafficking victims, shelter in 2007.
The NGO argued it could not keep up the shelter, which
required regular and substantial resources and manpower to
operate. Nickie Roumbani, President of ENOW, alleged that
the government shelter EKKA was also at minimal operation
level due to delays in receiving committed funds. ENOW and
other NGOs expressed admiration for police work but were very
critical of other players in combating trafficking in human
beings, such as the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. We have raised with senior levels of the
MFA the need for more regular and timely distribution of
funds to these NGOs; we have been promised an update on this
situation in the near future.
SPECKHARD