Two sisters from Romania have been identified as sex trafficking victims in Nicosia, after they were caught by police having sex in a public places in the eastern part of the city on Friday evening.
According to police, officers were on patrol in the Pallouriotissa area, on the eastern boroughs of the capital, when they spotted a 36-year-old woman performing a sexual act on a man Friday evening.
The woman, a Romanian national according to sources, was taken to the local station for further questioning where officers later determined she was a victim of sex trafficking. The Office of Combating Trafficking in Human Beings is now involved with the case.
On the same evening and in the same area, another Romanian woman, aged 25, was also spotted by police engaging in prostitution, while unconfirmed media reports said the two women were sisters and the younger female came to Cyprus two weeks ago to look for a job.
Similar cases in Pallouriotissa have taken place in the past while police told Knews there was no noticeable increase in the number of arrests
But the younger sister was told upon her arrival that her job entailed being a street walker and having sex in public places in exchange for money.
The two women, who are mothers of a combined eleven children according to media reports, named another Romanian national, a 43-year-old male, who was also in the area and arrested on pimping charges. The suspect, who is the boyfriend of the 36-year-old, denied involvement in sex trafficking offences while police said he had prior charges in connection with offences committed between 2016 and 2018 in Cyprus, Romania and the United Kingdom.
Police told Knews on Wednesday they could not confirm or deny whether the suspect was accused of the same crimes in all three countries, but they said they he had €530 cash in his possession without being able to prove to officers that the money came from legal sources.
According to the 25-year-old woman, she was making money selling sex on the street and in the first three days on the job she made €410 euro, which she handed over to her sister to pay off her plane ticket. She would then hand over half of her earnings to her sister for safe keeping, while all cash was kept by the male suspect so that police would not find it during a possible body search.
Similar cases in Pallouriotissa have taken place in the past while police told Knews there was no noticeable increase in the number of arrests.
While prostitution is not illegal in the Republic of Cyprus, pimping and public soliciting for sex are offences punishable by law.