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Cablegate: Tip in Turkey: Turkish Media Attention, April 15-

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 ANKARA 002491

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, EUR/PGI, EUR/SE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD PREF TU TIP IN TURKEY
SUBJECT: TIP IN TURKEY: TURKISH MEDIA ATTENTION, April 15-
30, 2005

1. (U) In response to G/TIP inquiries, national and
international media sources published the following news
articles about TIP in Turkey. Text of articles
originally published in Turkish is provided through
unofficial local FSN translation.

2. (U) Published on Wednesday, April 20 in The Messenger,
http://www.messenger.com.ge;
TITLE: Georgians Still Seek Jobs Abroad

BEGIN TEXT: The detention of a bus full of Georgian
women on the Russian-Finnish border in March reiterated
the desperation of a large part of the Georgian
population to find, albeit menial, work.
While investigations indicate they were not heading to
Europe as part of sex-trafficking, they were still
examples of human trafficking - most lacked even basic
cash, few had any idea of the specific route of the
trip and all had received visas for their trip from the
same consular official in Moscow.
This week President Mikheil Saakashvili declared that
Georgia will cancel its visa regime unilaterally with
numerous developed countries. He argues the move will
boost tourism and investments. At the same time, it may
be a preliminary bid to get improved visa rights for
Georgians seeking to travel abroad. However, until
Georgia's economy improves and the problem of
unemployment diminishes, it is unlikely these countries
will be willing to lower requirements.
Ten years ago the Shevardnadze-administration promised
to create one million new jobs in the country but it is
clear that they fell short of this mark. The Citizens
Union, the ruling party at the time, claimed that it
had in fact created many new opportunities and cited as
an example efforts to give state owned lands to rural
inhabitants.
Agricultural work, however small scale, is an important
factor in determining the country's employment rates,
particularly since government statistics count a person
as fully employed if they eke out a living from family
farm plots.
This statistical procedure means the number of
officially unemployed registered in Georgia is much
lower than the number of people who have lost former
jobs. According to the government's 2004 statistical
data, the number of unemployed people totaled 224,000
last year, including 203,300 in urban centers and
41,400 in the villages. The bulk of the unemployed are
registered in Tbilisi, approximately 104,200 persons,
as reports Rezonansi.
Migration is a major reason for the low levels of
unemployment. In 2004, the an estimated 4.7 people for
every 1,000 left the country. By comparison, Romania
has a migration loss of only 0.13 migrants per 1,000
residents. Some of the emigrants take their families
with them while others send money back home to Georgia.
Working legally in a foreign country is an elusive
dream for most Georgian s and instead they look for
jobs in informal sectors, such as construction,
homecare, cleaning and the sex industry.
Current statistics show a majority of Georgian migrants
are in western countries, particularly Turkey, Greece,
Spain, Holland and Belgium. Whereas in Turkey and
Greece an entire family may look for work, in Spain it
is only men who seek jobs, mostly in the construction
industry, reports Rezonansi.
In a recent report on Georgians working abroad, the
paper states salaries in Greece range from EURO 350-800
per month, depending on a person's language skills. In
Spain salaries are higher, with women earning an
average EURO 700 per month. Men working on construction
sites are paid by the hour - EURO 4-8 for unqualified
illegal workers and for EURO 8-10 qualified workers.
Holland is one of the best places for emigrant workers,
the paper states, because they can receive an average
pay of EURO 10 per hour, only slightly less than the
current monthly pension in Georgia. END TEXT.
3. (U) Reported by the Sofia News Agency on Wednesday, April
20, http://www.novinite.com/newsletter/:

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TITLE: Sofia Lines FBI to Bust Criminal Ring

BEGIN TEXT: Bulgarian policemen have lined FBI agents
to bust a major channel for human trafficking and
forged identity papers manufacture.

The criminal ring has been under watch on the
territories of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria for six
months, Bulgarian police announced.

Twelve masterminds of the channel have been arrested,
along with an illegal immigrant, and another nine
members of the criminal ring are sought for.

In Bulgaria, the network has spread in Sofia, Pernik,
Kardzhali and Haskovo, Interior Ministry's Secretary
Lieutenant-General Boyko Borissov announced on
Wednesday.

Under the illegal scam, forged documents were made up
in Bulgaria for individuals who had crossed Bulgarian-
Turkish border illegally and sought to further towards
countries of Western Europe, through either Turkey, or
Greece.

Besides identity documents, the criminals have
falsified also driving licenses, visas and euro,
Bulgarian police said. END TEXT.

4. (U) Reported by the Anadolu Ajansi on Thursday, April 21:

TITLE: In an Operation Two Hotels Were Raided
and 41 People were Detained, including 37 Women
Allegedly involved in Prostitution

BEGIN TEXT: Istanbul (AA) In an operation two hotels
were raided in Silivri and 41 people, including 37
women, who allegedly were involved in prostitution were
detained.

Units from the Istanbul Police Law and Order and
Foreigners Departments after receiving information
from abroad (on the hotels) put under surveillance the
two hotels in Silivri.

The police discovered that one of the hotels was used
for accommodation and the other for prostitution.
They raided both at the same time.

In the operation 37 foreign women who were involved in
prostitution, as well as two responsible directors of
the hotels and two others who were mediating in
prostitution were detained.

The women in their testimony to the police said that
they voluntarily came to Turkey and (willingly) got
involved in prostitution. They were taken to the
Foreigners Department for deportation.

The other four people were sent to the prosecutor for
legal action. END TEXT.
5. (U) Published in Southeast European Times, Thursday,
April 21, http://www.setimes.com:
TITLE: Bulgarian Police, Western Services Smash Human
Trafficking Channel
BEGIN TEXT: SOFIA, Bulgaria -- The interior ministry
announced on Wednesday (20 April) that the National
Service for Fighting Against Organised Crime has broken
a human trafficking channel, with the assistance of the
FBI office in Sofia, as well as German and French
services. The channel, which trafficked illegal
immigrants to EU member states using forged documents,
was under watch for six months in Bulgaria, Greece and
Turkey.
In other news, official statistics suggest employment
in Bulgaria's informal or grey economy was cut almost
twofold in the past two years. It is estimated that
around 14 per cent of all workers are currently engaged
in the grey economy. END TEXT.
6. (U) Published in the Turkish Daily News, Thursday, April
21, 2005:
TITLE: Brutal human traffickers in the Balkans
BEGIN TEXT: Belgrade - The Associated Press - Human
traffickers are growing every more brutal, increasingly
targeting children over the internet, in schools and
youth groups, international officials said as they
presented an annual report on Wednesday on human
trafficking in southeastern Europe. "It's an extremely
sophisticated crime network; the faster you respond,
the faster they change trends," said Mary E. Black, a
UNICEF anti-trafficking coordinator and one of the
presenters who launched the report in Belgrade. END
TEXT.
7. (U) Reported by the Macedonian Press Agency on Saturday,
April 23, http://www.mpa.gr:
TITLE: Komoutsakos on the Turkish Ambassador Visit to
Thrace
BEGIN TEXT: Athens, 22 April 2005. Greece has nothing
to comment. It has nothing to say and nothing to hide.
Equality before the law is a reality in Thrace and in
accordance with the European standards, principles and
values. Greece is a European country and law is
applied equally on all Greek citizens, stated Foreign
Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos on the occasion
of the visit of the Turkish ambassador to Athens to the
Muslim villages in Thrace, northeastern Greece.
Referring to the 12th Black Sea Economic Cooperation
Foreign Ministers' Council meeting to take place
tomorrow, he said that this is the last ministerial
meeting under Greek Presidency. In the meeting the
BSEC ministers will adopt the Komontini Agreement on
actions concerning the sectors of energy, tourism, good
governance, measures against organized crime and
illegal human trafficking, transportation, market
economic cooperation and specifically, small-medium
sized businesses.
He also underlined the BSEC Greek Presidency was marked
in a way by the signing of the cooperation memorandum
on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline. END TEXT.
8. (U) Published by Sofia BTA on Thursday, April 21:
TITLE: Bulgaria: Further Arrests in Human
Trafficking, ID Counterfeiting Case Announced
BEGIN FBIS TRANSCRIBED TEXT: Khaskovo, April 21
(BTA)-Four more organizers of a ring trafficking people
from Turkey through Bulgaria to the countries of the EU
and counterfeiting IDs have been arrested, Interior
Ministry Chief Secretary General Boyko Borisov said.
He added that the four were arrested in the Pernik-
Sofia region.
The police confiscated computer configurations, hard
discs, passports, driving licenses, including a
passport of a Romanian national.
The operation called "Spectrum" is continuing, General
Borisov said. Some 100 policemen are combing Kurdzhali
region for the three remaining immigrants, Gen. Borisov
said.
General Borisov said in Khaskovo Wednesday (20 April)
that twelve organizers of the ring had been arrested in
a specialized operation of the National Service for
Combating organized Crime and the Regional Directorates
of the Interior in Khashovo, Pernik, Sofia and
Kurdzhzali. The operation is conducted with the
assistance of FBI offices. END TEXT.
9. (U) Published by Reuters News on Sunday, April 24:
TITLE: Migrant women trapped in Europe's sex industry
BEGIN TEXT: LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - The money
Rosa was earning in a Turkish shoe factory was not
enough to support the three children she had left
behind in Ukraine.
Then her new friend in Turkey, Katerina, told her she
could earn $700 a month as a casino waitress in Bosnia
and convinced Rosa to come home with her to Moldova and
then make their way to Bosnia.
"I began to think of all the things I could do to
change my life to help my children, my family."
As the time came to leave Moldova, Katerina said she
had a problem with her passport and would join Rosa in
Bosnia a week later. At the station, she introduced
Rosa to a Romanian man who would accompany her.
Rosa felt something was wrong when she said goodbye and
Katerina just turned away.
"I pushed my feelings aside," said Rosa, who declined
to give her real name. "I don't usually trust anyone,
but I told myself that sometimes you have to have
faith."
Rosa paid Katerina $300 to get her a job but a criminal
gang had already paid Katerina $700 to make Rosa their
slave.
She was smuggled across Europe in cars and once in a
fold-away bed on a train, was sold and resold, beaten,
raped and forced to work in brothels.
She was afraid to escape because her captors had kept
her passport, home address and photos of her children.
Rosa was freed months later in Britain when police
raided a sauna she was working in. But her captors are
still at large.
Poverty, war, open borders and domestic violence are
prompting increasing numbers of people from eastern
Europe and beyond to seek work in the wealthy West.
With governments tightening limits on immigration,
women desperate for work in bars, shops and hotels have
come to rely on crooks to spirit them across borders
using false identities.
"The profits are huge and the money the traffickers
wave in potential victims' faces would certainly
outweigh the salaries they can expect by staying at
home," said Richard Danziger, head of the counter-
trafficking unit of the International Organization for
Migration in Geneva.
On the wrong side of the law in a foreign land, some
of the women find themselves forced into prostitution.
They are powerless to resist their captors. Many have
sex with up to 30 men a day for months on end.
OUT OF SIGHT
The trade in people for forced sex has mushroomed into
a $12 billion industry to rival drug trafficking and
gun-running. Because the victims are locked in rooms or
moved around in secret, it is almost impossible to
trace them.
It also makes quantifying the problem virtually
impossible. Five years ago, the British government
estimated that as few as 140 or as many as 1,400 women
had been smuggled into the country and forced to work
as prostitutes.
Social workers say the problem has grown alongside
lurid Internet sites and flyers plastered on the walls
of phone booths fuelling a demand for unprotected and
risky sex that few women would willingly supply.
"There is definitely too much work to deal with," said
Anna Johansson of the London-based Poppy Project, which
helps women trying to leave prostitution. "We're
getting referrals from Birmingham, Sheffield,
Liverpool, from all across the country."
Many women contract chlamydia, syphilis and sometimes
HIV because they are forced to have unprotected sex.
They are often left with painful scars and some become
sterile. Most suffer from post-traumatic stress
disorder.
"Almost all those we work with have flashbacks and
nightmares and cannot sleep," said Johannson. "They can
be extremely frightened of strangers and find it hard
to go out alone."
She said one woman had approached the Poppy Project
after leaping to freedom from a second-storey window,
breaking bones in her foot.
Another's hopes were raised when a client promised to
help her and bought her from her captor, then locked
her away in an apartment and visited her at night twice
a week on the way home to his wife.
FROM SOHO TO SUBURBIA
Last month, three east European men were jailed for up
to 18 years under new British trafficking laws after
they lured a 15-year-old Lithuanian girl to Britain on
the promise of a summer job, then sold her for 4,000
pounds ($7,586).
Three months later she turned up barefoot at a northern
England police station after eluding her "owner" in a
nightclub.
But renewed efforts to stamp out the trade may be
pushing it further underground, from red-light
districts such as London's Soho to houses and
apartments in the suburbs, many of which are unknown to
the police.
"Women here are not advertised. Access is gained by
word of mouth," said Johansson. "That's quite dangerous
as the authorities are not that likely to come across
them."
Campaigners say anti-immigration policies could be
making things worse. Sending victims straight home
means they cannot testify against their owners in
court, and can expose them to more danger by landing
them back where they were kidnapped.
"You can't break the problem of trafficking by sending
people back to where they were trafficked from," said
Mary Cunneen, director of Anti-Slavery International.
Last year a woman helped put her captors behind bars
for nine years. Fearing reprisals if she returned to
her small village in Moldova, she applied for asylum in
Britain.
"She applied in February last year but there has still
been no response," said Johansson. "The chance of her
being re-trafficked is high, but this has not been
recognised." END TEXT.
10. (U) Reported by the Anadolu Ajansi on Monday, April 25:
TITLE: 29 Illegal Immigrants Captured Near Samos, One
Turk Arrested
BEGIN TEXT: AA reporting from Athens. The
Greek Coast Guard captured 29 illegal immigrants near
Samos island and detained a Turk for trafficking these
people.

The Greek Maritime Commerce Ministry noted that the
illegal immigrants were from Afghanistan and Iraq and
the Turk who brought them to the island and who tried
to flee was Mehmet Ulu (37).

Ulu will be sent to the prosecutor. END TEXT.

11. (U) Reported by the Anadolu Ajansi on Tuesday, April
26:
TITLE: Prostitution Operation in Istanbul

BEGIN TEXT: During an operation in some hotels, bars,
discothques and night clubs, 132 foreign women who
are allegedly involved in prostitution and four people
who were serving as mediator were captured

In an operation against some hotels, bars,
discothques and nigh clubs in various sub-provinces
of Istanbul in the past one week, 132 foreign women who
allegedly were involved in prostitution and four people
who were mediating for prostitution were captured.

According to information gathered by the AA
correspondent, Istanbul Foreigners Police and Public
c
Order Police Morals Department conducted operations in
the hotels, bars, discothques and nigh clubs in
Silivri, Bakirkoy, Beyoglu and Besiktas.

During these operations 132 foreign women from Russia,
the Ukraine, Moldavia and Kyrgyzstan who were
allegedly involved in prostitution were captured and
four Turks were detained for mediating for
prostitution.

While the women were sent to the Foreigners' Department
for necessary (paper) work for their deportation the
four (Turks) who were sent to the prosecutor were
arrested and put in jail. END TEXT.

12. (U) Published by CBC News Viewpoint on Wednesday,
April, 27:

TITLE: False Hope and Shattered Dreams

BEGIN TEXT: Lured by the promise of better prospects
and quality of life, thousands of Ukrainian women have
left their homes and families only to become victims
of human trafficking.

While they're often promised work as waitresses, in
stores, or as domestic workers, many young women are
forced into sexual exploitation, usually to pay off the
cost of their "migration." Stripped of their passports,
threatened and abused, these women become trapped.

According to the International Organization for
Migration (IOM), Ukraine is one of the main European
countries of origin for human trafficking for the
purpose of forced prostitution. Although the exact
number of victims is unclear, estimates indicate that
since Ukraine's independence in 1991, as many as 11
million Ukrainian citizens have crossed the border to
work abroad, usually irregularly. Thousands of these
people became victims of trafficking.

While men are also trafficked into forced labour
situations and make up about two-thirds of migrants,
women make up the overwhelming majority of those
returning as victims of trafficking.

IOM assisted nearly 1,800 trafficked people between
2000 and the end of 2004, including 625 people last
year alone. The number of people assisted increases
each year. IOM statistics show that 289 trafficking
cases were filed by the Anti-Trafficking Unit of the
Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2003 and 169 cases were
filed in 2002.

Also in 2002, Interpol Ukraine received 742 notices
from 30 countries concerning trafficking involving
Ukrainian victims.

With declining standards of living, low wages, and
generally few employment prospects in Ukraine, many
view work abroad as the best option available to them.
The thought of sending money home to their families
also gives them the extra push they need.

For women, the motivation to leave is even greater as
many are looking to flee situations at home involving
moral, verbal, sexual or physical assault. According to
the IOM assessment, the collapse of the social
infrastructure following the breakup of the Soviet
Union has created an extra burden for many Ukrainian
women, particularly in rural areas where they do all
housework with no electricity or running water.

Consequently, more women are pressured to seek
unskilled, low wage employment abroad such as waiting
on tables, housekeeping, personal care or dancing.
Although a few women know they are going abroad to be
prostitutes, many learn their fate upon arrival in the
destination country.

Victims are usually recruited through a combination of
acquaintances and intermediaries at nightclubs, student
gatherings, on public transportation, or at train
stations in regional city centres. Women - often mother
and daughter teams - are the primary recruiters in
Ukraine while men control recruitment abroad.
Trafficking victims also act as recruiters - either
forcibly or on their own upon their return to Ukraine,
knowing the profit that can be made.

So where do victims end up? IOM has assisted Ukrainian
trafficking victims from more than 40 countries
including South Korea, Nigeria and Yemen. But more than
two-thirds of IOM's caseload returned from Italy,
Greece, Poland, Macedonia, Russia and Turkey. Victims
of trafficking are also found in the United Arab
Emirates, Germany, Portugal, Spain, the former
Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Hungary,
the Czech Republic and Romania.

Counter-trafficking initiatives are high on the list of
priorities for many non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) in Ukraine. A great deal of effort is spent on
prevention - specifically through awareness campaigns -
and legislation has been made to combat trafficking.
Anti-trafficking hotlines have been set up and a
network of NGOs across Ukraine has been established to
co-ordinate victim assistance and prevention
initiatives.

Organizations such as the IOM, Revival of the Nation,
La Strada International Women's Rights Centre and
Faith, Love, Hope assist returning victims with
reintegration, travel assistance, accommodation, legal
assistance, medical care, counselling, and vocational
training.

On an international level, all embassies of the
Schengen countries (a bloc of 15 European nations) in
Kiev meet monthly to share information on the topic and
have created a blacklist of tourist agencies with whom
they will no longer co-operate because of the agencies'
involvement in trafficking. As a result, visas will not
be issued to individuals who use these agencies as
intermediaries.

However, prevention of trafficking is made difficult
for Ukrainian authorities and international
organizations because of the irregularity of the
migration process, even for successful migrants.

Many successful migrants get around work permit
regulations by travelling to the country of destination
independently as tourists and staying there, working
illegally. Successful migrants usually have a higher
education, contacts in the country of destination, and
money to pay for the travel abroad.

Many female victims, ashamed of what they did when
abroad, never tell their families or friends about
their experience because they are afraid to come
forward lest they be stigmatized. Others, many of whom
are men, are not aware they were victims of
trafficking.

All of this makes collecting information useful for
prevention and prosecuting traffickers a bigger
challenge than it already is, allowing the situation to
go on indefinitely. END TEXT.

13. (U) Published by Armenialiberty, www.armenialiberty.org
on Wednesday, April 27:

TITLE: Journalist Inquiry Implicates Armenian
Officials in Dubai Trafficking

BEGIN TEXT: The Armenian authorities have done little
to combat illegal trafficking of hundreds and possibly
thousands of Armenian women abroad for sexual
exploitation despite their persistent claims to the
contrary, according to the findings of a nearly year-
long journalistic investigation.

Edik Baghdasarian, a prominent investigative reporter,
and Ara Manoogian, an Armenian-American activist, have
suggested that senior law-enforcement officials in
Yerevan are maintaining close ties with Armenian
prostitution rings in the United Arab Emirates for
personal gain. They allege in particular that some of
those officials regularly visit Dubai to collect bribes
from the local Armenian pimps and women trafficked by
them.

"We have compelling evidence we collected there that
suggests individuals within the Armenian government and
in high-ranking positions are directly involved with
this ring," says Manoogian.

The two men have repeatedly visited the Gulf Arab
nation over the past year, interviewing scores of
Armenian prostitutes and secretly videotaping glitzy
night clubs where they usually find clients. Their
detailed accounts of the Dubai sex business were
presented in a series of reports that appeared recently
in the Hetq.am online publication of Baghdasarian's
Association of Investigative Journalists. Baghdasarian
has promised to make more scandalous revelations in a
separate documentary which is expected to be aired by
an Armenian TV channel next month.

The Hetq.am reports suggest that there could be as many
as 2,000 Armenian prostitutes working in the UAE and
other Gulf states at present. Virtually all of them are
said to have traveled there with fake Russian passports
provided by their traffickers in Moscow. UAE law
forbids foreign single women below the age of 31 from
entering the country. The documents overstating the
women's age thus allow prostitution ringleaders to
easily flout this restriction.

Baghdasarian and Manoogian claim that the UAE
authorities are well aware of that but turn a blind eye
because they too have a share in the business involving
tends of thousands of women from across the former
Soviet Union. "This is a well-organized business with a
rigid chain of command," says Baghdasarian.

Most of the trafficked women come from poor families
and were lured into prostitution with a promise of
quick money. "I couldn't find a job [in Armenia]," one
of them, a divorced woman from a village in southern
Armenia, is quoted as saying in a Hetq article.
"Wherever I went, they asked me to sleep with them
before they would offer me a job. We Armenians are like
that - if you're divorced, then that's it, they can
think anything about you."

The prostitutes reportedly have to give the Armenian
pimps in Dubai a large part of their income. According
to the authors of the inquiry, many of them are forced
to have sex 10 or even more clients a day in order to
secure the minimum daily sum required by their
"employers." They say that the Armenian pimps are in
turn subordinated to a Syrian-born Arab known as Assad.
He is said to have strong connections with officials at
the UAE's police and immigration departments.

Scores of Armenian women are also thought to have been
trafficked to other parts of the Middle East, notably
Turkey. The phenomenon dating back to the mid-1990s
came under public spotlight in 2002 when the U.S. State
Department placed Armenia in the so-called "Tier3"
group of states which Washington believes are doing
little to tackle illegal cross-border transport of
human beings.

The embarrassing criticism led the Armenian authorities
to take what the State Department later described as
"significant efforts" to reduce the scale of human
trafficking. They set up a special inter-ministerial
commission tasked with tackling the problem. It also
began to be publicly discussed by government officials
and non-governmental organizations.

Armenia was removed from the U.S. blacklist and
upgraded to the "Tier 2" category in 2003. "The
Government of Armenia does not fully comply with the
minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking;
however, it is making significant efforts to do so,"
the State Department said in a report last year.

Baghdasarian disagrees. "The prosecutors say they are
combating the problem, but I don't see any action," he
says.

Armenia's Office Prosecutor-General rarely launch
criminal investigations into suspected instances of
human trafficking. Only two such cases were reported
last year. Although Armenia's new Criminal Code enacted
in 2003 raised the maximum jail term for trafficking
from two to eight years, court rulings against
individuals convicted of related charges have remained
lenient.

One such person, Amalia "Nano" Mnatsakanian, was
arrested in the UAE on an Interpol warrant and
extradited to Armenia in March 2004. She was sentenced
to two years' imprisonment by a Yerevan court last
August only to be released less than two months later.
Another reputed pimp, Marietta Musaelian, is expected
to released soon, well before completing her two-year
sentence.

Baghdasarian says most of their "colleagues" remain at
large and have little to worry about. As recently as
last February he sent a young female journalist posing
as a prospective prostitute to two women known to be
involved in a Dubai prostitution ring. Their
conversation in a Yerevan apartment was secretly
recorded.

"I've sent more than a hundred people to the Emirates,"
one of the women called Sirush told the undercover
journalist. "They were from 16 to 27. I don't take
anyone older."

"It'll cost me $3,000-$4,000 to get you to Dubai.
You'll be met in Moscow and they'll get you a new
passport. After that you'll go to Dubai," she added.

"If you go there, you won't want to come back," said
the other pimp, Nelli.

Andranik Mirzoyan, head of the investigations
department at the Prosecutor-General's Office, claimed
on March 16 that most traffickers remain unpunished
because they enjoy government protection in the UAE.
"There [in Dubai] a pimp is protected by the police and
by the 'authorities' [criminal gangs]. They have their
own laws, and there are some problems," he complained
after a meeting of senior prosecutors that discussed
the problem.

Mirzoyan also told reporters that a team of Armenian
investigators traveled to Dubai in February to try to
"persuade" Armenian prostitutes to return home. But
Baghdasarian insists that the officials' actions were
less than altruistic.

"We have recordings of girls in Dubai saying that they
gave thousands of dollars to a particular employee of
the prosecutor's office. We know their names, where and
when they met." he says, adding that such visits from
Yerevan have been regular.

Citing unnamed Dubai prostitutes, Baghdasarian wrote
last month that one of those officials, Aristakes
Yeremian, cut a deal with at least one Armenian pimp.
The Prosecutor-General's Office has still not reacted
to the allegation.

But Yeremian, who is a senior investigator at the law-
enforcement agency, rejected the charges on Wednesday.
"Such a thing is impossible," he told RFE/RL. Yeremian
admitted meeting several Armenian pimps in Dubai "for
questioning" but denied extorting any money from them
through blackmail and arrest threats.

Visiting Yerevan last July, Russian Interior Minister
Rashid Nurgaliev announced the arrest a "criminal
group" of Armenians in Moscow who allegedly transported
young women from Armenia to the UAE via Russia. The
suspects were immediately extradited to the Armenian
authorities to face prosecution, he said.

"They were flown to Yerevan and set free a month
later," says Baghdasarian. "I asked one law-enforcement
official why they were released. He said they probably
paid a lot of money."

That there is lots of money involved is obvious from
figures provided to Hetq by the Armenian Central Bank.
They show that the total amount of cash remittances
wired to Armenia from the UAE totaled almost $8.8
million last year, up from just $1.6 million registered
in 2001. With Armenian imports from the UAE by far
exceeding exports in 2004, a large part of that money
may well have been generated by the prostitution
networks.

Manoogian, who runs a charity and small businesses in
Nagorno-Karabakh, believes that many of the trafficking
victims can be repatriated and reintegrated into
Armenian society. He is currently lobbying
international and Diaspora organizations to finance a
special rehabilitation center for them. "Right now we
are in the process of putting together a rehabilitation
program," he says.

But Baghdasarian is skeptical about the effort: "Ninety
percent of those women knew what awaits them in Dubai
and are earning much more than they could do here."
END TEXT.

14. (U) Published by Anadolu Ajansi, Friday, April 29:

TITLE: SECURITY FORCES INTERCEPT 25 ILLEGAL MIGRANTS
IN ISTANBUL

BEGIN TEXT: ISTANBUL (A.A) - 29.04.2005 - Turkish
security forces intercepted 25 migrants in Istanbul
who had entered Turkey illegally, sources told the A.A
on Friday.
The migrants of Pakistani origin who did not have
passports and ID cards, will be deported once the legal
proceedings are completed.
Meanwhile, 2 Iraqi and 3 Pakistani were detained for
human trafficking. END TEXT.

EDELMAN

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