German police raid 1,000 prostitution venues
German police said Friday they had raided some 1,000 brothels and other prostitution venues throughout the country in a bid to break networks trafficking women from West Africa.
Similar raids were conducted nationwide in February.
"The goal was to identify victims of trafficking from West Africa and to gather information about possible traffickers," the federal police said in a statement following the raids Thursday night.
These were carried out in 13 of the country's 16 regional states in cooperation with Europol.
Some 170 women from West Africa were identified and initial information "suggests some of them were the victims of trafficking," the statement added.
Prostitution is legal in Germany, but police fear many women from West Africa are brought into the country illegally and forced into prostitution.
Traffickers often rely on fear of witchcraft to silence the women, police said.
© 2011 AFP