Sex Trafficking and Organized Crime in Bulgaria


Georgi Petrunov

SGOC Newsletter, February 2010, Volume 9, Issue 1 

Bulgarian criminal organizations have managed to overtake significant pieces of the sex market in Western Europe, claims Georgi Petrunov in an article for the February issue of the Standing Group on Organized Crime Newsletter. Since 2007, human trafficking for sexual exploitation has entered a new phase of its development. Lately physical threat during recruitment of prostitutes is almost disappearing. New, "soft" methods have now been established and financial penalties function as the main mechanism of control within the criminal sex industry. The attempts to evaluate this phenomenon show that between 8 000 and 12 000 Bulgarian women are being sexually exploited outside the country. These women generate around 1 billion Euro for the Bulgarian organized crime structures. Despite that, Bulgarian law enforcement institutions often treat human trafficking as crime done by individuals, but not of whole organizations. As a result they do not follow the route of the generated income and cannot successfully restrict the phenomenon.

Read the full article in English.

Standing Group on Organized Crime

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