Australian police charge pair over sex slave ring

BRISBANE, Feb 5 — A man and woman in Australia were charged with drugging several women and forcing them into prostitution today, with police alleging girls as young as 17 were tattooed as property and held in “sexual servitude”.

A 35-year-old Brisbane man is accused of giving at least four victims “stupefying drugs” and along with a suspected female accomplice faces multiple charges relating to unlawful prostitution. 

Police said raids at two properties in Brisbane’s southern suburbs uncovered four female victims and authorities believe more have yet to be found.

“The investigation is still ongoing however the women are now safe thanks to the information from members of the public and the diligence of our officers,” Queensland Police Service Detective Inspector Juliet Hancock said in a statement.

“We believe there are other victims who have been exploited by the man, and I encourage them to come forward and contact police.” 

Evidence of sexual servitude, unlawful prostitution and covert recordings of the victims engaged in sexual acts with men were also discovered in the raids. 

Hancock told the national broadcaster ABC that police were “shocked” by evidence of “horrendous” crimes. 

“This investigation has been confronting when you consider those aspects, vulnerable young women being recruited, being drugged, being prostituted and being tattooed, that’s pretty confronting,” she said. — AFP               

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