Friday, June 28, 2013

The end of the Zandpad

The last window prostitution boats on Het Zandpad in Utrecht will be closed.

Also the window brothels in the Hardebollenstraat will be closed down. A couple of months ago also some other window prostitution boats of some smaller brothel owners have been closed down. But now also the last brothel operator has to close its windows. This operator owns window brothels in the Hardebollenstraat and the Zandpad. I haven't mentioned the earlier closures on my blog because I wanted to wait it out. There were signs that the last remaining brothel company (Wegra) could buy the closed brothels of the other brothel owners. But this didn't work out anyway. Pity for them. They had recently renovated many of the boats and even a new sidewalk was laid. It looked really modern. (UPDATE: As it turns out, Wegra and the other operators didn't 'own' the boats. Somebody else owns it, and rents the boats to Wegra et al, who rent the boats to the prostitutes. UPDATE: It seems as if this Jan de Graaf of Wegra really seems to own the boats after all!!!! I don't understand it anymore!!! Read this on the website of Henk Jan Korterink: Romantiek van het Zandpad)

The reason of the closure?: they didn’t prevent evil pimps from putting their women to work on the Zandpad. They even did business with these evil pimps as can be read in some verdicts on rechtspraak.nl (okay, just one it turns out). So the municipality of Utrecht decided not to renew the permits. I can understand the municipality. Especially during the evening you sometimes see young Moroccan men approach and harass the prostitutes on the Zandpad. The brothel owners did nothing about it.

Unfortunately, the women (or their pimps) have to find another place to work. I think it should have been arranged better, perhaps by way of some compensation for the prostitutes, if they don’t give it to their pimps anyway. At the end, the municipality closed the brothels to help the prostitutes, so why not actually help the prostitutes? But I understand, they have financial problems in these economically difficult times. They simply can't help the prostitutes. (I mean it, they can't)

This has a big impact. The Zandpad had many window brothels. It had some 143 windows. Perhaps some 200 prostitutes worked there.

Once, there were more than 2000 window brothels in the Netherlands. That number has now dropped below a thousand. And the funny thing is that not all the brothels are rented by prostitutes. Reportedly 30% of the windows are unoccupied. Also many sex clubs and privéhuizen are closed (you know the privéhuizen are sex clubs without a bar where clients and prostitutes can drink alcohol). Few prostitutes want to work there. Few clients come. Many brothels simply went bankrupt. I think prostitution is disappearing. The clients are disappearing. The prostitutes are disappearing. I extrapolate that within 10 or 20 years it will have almost completely disappeared. The number of prostitutes has probably halved during the last 15 years. Prostitution is outdated.

Anyway, I can be happy. Now I can drink a beer in a café in the city centre of Utrecht without the pernicious urge to talk a half-an-hour walk to the Zandpad.

HURRAY!!

(Okay, that's my own choice, I know. I could decide not to take the walk of shame.)

Now, the municipality has offered other persons to buy the brothels, if they stick to the rules. But I expect nobody will take the risk. Also some prostitutes are trying to get the boats back and form some kind of joint venture ('coörperatie' in Dutch, there doesn't seem to be an English word). I think they will fail. They don't have the power, the money.

Now that I think about it, why didn't the municipality of Amsterdam do the same thing with the Wallen? Instead of buying some brothels for tens of millions of euros. What Utrecht is doing is much cheaper. Amsterdam could do the very same thing.

BTW: this is oil on the fire for abolitionists. They can now point to Utrecht and say:

SEE THAT LEGALIZING PROSTITUTION DOESN'T WORK???

They are right. It doesn't work.

UPDATE: I must apologize because it seems as if I don’t really care about the prostitutes. And perhaps I really don’t care, I don’t know anymore. Obviously the municipality of Amsterdam should have invested the tens of millions directly into helping the prostitutes, not incarcerating them by the way. And the reason that I’m cheerful about the closure of the Zandpad is because I regularly went to a place in Utrecht to socialize and drink a couple of beers or other beverages, until I found out that the Zandpad is only a half-an-hour walk away from that place. I could only think about going to the Zandpad while I was there, and often I did, ending up straight into the rooms of the prostitutes. Obviously, I am a grown-up person and I can make choices for myself, and I should make the right choices. I am responsible for my own behaviour. But I stopped visiting this place in Utrecht to socialize because of this. That’s why I’m happy!!! For the victims of human trafficking on the Zandpad things don’t change because they will simply be relocated by their pimps to other window prostitution areas where lots of windows are unrented. I think many of the free and independent prostitutes will follow suit. Remember, that many prostitutes regularly relocate to other brothels because they hope they can make more money because clients like new women. I think that the very poor prostitutes who don’t make a lot of money but who are independent could be really harmed by the closure of the Zandpad. I think the municipality has a duty to help them and the forced prostitutes. But things will be difficult, because often forced prostitutes are too afraid to seek help because they fear the revenge of the pimps.

UPDATE 2: It seems that I cheered too early. A security company seems to be having the idea of taking over the boats. Will they take the risk??? Read here:

Nieuwe uitbater dingt naar exploitatie Zandpad (De Utrechtse Internet Courant, July 8, 2013)

UPDATE 3:

Some prostitutes (around 60) also have protested at the municipality of Utrecht with banners and they handed over a petition to Aleid Wolfsen, the mayor. Read and see it all on RTL nieuws:

http://www.rtlnieuws.nl/nieuws/binnenland/prostituees-protest

I think the prostitutes are right. The municipality should have been more clear about what was going to happen. Now the municipality of Utrecht has released a press release. The windows will close July 25, 2013. And it turns out the municipality of Utrecht does want to help the prostitutes after all. Social workers actively seek contact with prostitutes but they don’t mediate with finding another place to work. The municipality also wants to help the prostitutes to form some kind of joint venture (coörperatie) to operate the boats themselves. Like has been said before, another company wants to take over the exploitation of the boats too. The boats (it turns out) are not owned by the operators who run the boats at this moment. The operators simply rent to boats from the real owner, and then the operators rent it out to the prostitutes. Read it all in the press release by the municipality of Utrecht.

Utrecht trekt vergunningen in van exploitant raamprostitutie (July 11, 2013)

I think it will take time before all the licenses have been arranged, so the boats will be empty for a long while. But, because the prostitutes don’t have to buy the boats themselves (they will have to rent them from the real owners), I think such a joint venture between the prostitutes might actually work!! And, it will be cheaper because now there is one intermediary less. Well, I wish them good luck, but not to myself. I think I cheered to early.

I still believe that the women could easily find another place to work, and that the illegal sector is not so bad as often thought. The fear of many is that the prostitutes will move ‘underground’ (and some pimps have offered their services to prostitutes to find a new place to work). But I think the ‘underground’ is not necessarily bad. The ‘underground’ has beautiful houses and hotels with showers and good sanitation. I think many houses and hotels are better than many brothels.

UPDATE 4:

Yes, the windows are really closed now. Wegra lost before the court.

UPDATE 5:

I checked which rechtspraak.nl documents point at collaboration between the brothel operators on the Zandpad and the pimps. Actually it is only one verdict in which this seems to be the case. I thought there were two others, but I think I misinterpreted them. I will point to the verdict. It has the code: ECLI:NL:RBUTR:2011:BQ6884, and you can find it here online (in Dutch):

http://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:RBUTR:2011:BQ6884

I write about it in this post on my blog:

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.nl/2011/11/two-forced-prostitutes-on-zandpad.html

I will quote from the verdict (translated into English):
One day, [suspect] took her to Utrecht. He spoke there with people of the office of the little boats. On the day that [victim 2] received her residence pass, on June 9, 2009, [suspect] contacted the boss of the Zandpad. After this, he ordered her to go to this boss to let herself be registered. Via a telephone she received instructions from [suspect] how she had to walk and what she had to say to him. On June 11, 2009 [victim 2] started working as a prostitute.
This phrase could be interpreted in multiple ways. It could be true that the 'boss' collaborated with the pimp. But we don't know what was actually said. Perhaps the boss just said that he doesn't do business with pimps, and that the woman should come herself. That's why later the pimp sent the woman alone to the boss. But in anyway, the 'boss' should have been forewarned.

UPDATE 6:

I forgot to mention many things. Some of the prostitutes of de Zandpad say there is no forced prostitution on de Zandpad. This is absolutely untrue!!! But I understand that they say it, because they lost their place of work. Also, there is some doubt about the arguments the municipality is using to close the windows. One former employee of Wegra even appeared on TV to argue that he absolutely DIDN'T do business with human traffickers, and that he hasn't been charged of doing anything. I also forgot to mention that lots of information regarding the accusations of the municipality can be found in a secret report, which has to remain secret because some investigations are still under way. But this way nobody has the chance to know if the brothel operators really did do business with the human traffickers. The only hint can be found above in that rechtspraak.nl-file.

UPDATE 7:

It seems that I have overlooked a case where the brothels owners of the Zandpad seem to be doing business with human traffickers. It is the Sneep-case! With Saban B. It is this verdict on rechtspraak.nl:

http://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:RBUTR:2011:BP7662

It has the code ECLI:NL:RBUTR:2011:BP7662

It is the case of one person called Cillekes Ö.

I will quote from it (translated into Dutch):
From the content of the sms-messages the court derives that [involved person 29] handed over the money that she earned as a prostitute, to the suspect. He appeared with her on the Zandpad. He arranged rooms for her. In the wiretapped telephone conversations between [suspect Saban B] and the suspect the court reads that the suspect not only let his wife work as a prostitute but also a certain [S]. [Involved person 29] states at the examining judge that her work name wasn’t [S]. [S] according to her was the woman from [place of residence], with whom she shared a room for four or five weeks and a workroom. From one of the wiretapped telephone conversations it emerges that the suspect interfered with her in January 2007. From this it follows that the suspect means in this wiretapped telephone conversation with ‘my wife’ [involved person 29] and calls [S] by her name and that he tries to arrange a workroom for both of them in consultation with [Suspect Saban B]. [Involved person 29] feels exploited, she is only good enough to work as a prostitute for him.
You can also read about this case on my blog here:

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2011/11/saban-and-gang-part-1.html

UPDATE 8:

The municipality also accuses the brothel owners of overlooking signs of human trafficking, like a pregnant woman behind the window, a woman with a broken leg behind the window, women with tattoos showing their boyfriend's name behind the window, etc.... I must admit that it is very difficult to determine if these women are forced because of these reasons, because many people have tattoos with names of their children or lovers on their bodies. And some people keep on working with a broken leg or while being pregnant, so that's not strange.

UPDATE 9:

Why exactly the municipality chose to terminate the licenses of the brothel owners can be found in these verdicts on rechtspraak.nl:

http://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:RBMNE:2013:3037

http://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:RBMNE:2013:CA2738

To be short and sweet: The brothel owners partly subcontracted their activities to a shared company which supervised the Zandpad. Some of the employees of this company seem to be involved in human trafficking. Behind the scenes these employees allegedly did business with human traffickers. The investigation is still ongoing, so the details are secret. Furthermore, the employees/managers of Wegra who managed the Zandpad asked the prostitutes for extra money, which had to be paid by the prostitutes to them individually. That means a sort of corruption. Furthermore, these managers weren't screened by the municipality, so they weren't even allowed to do their job. And one of these managers is a main suspect in a human trafficking case, which is still being investigated, so the details are secret. And the brothel owners are charged with looking the other way while evidently some prostitutes were forced (for instance, allowing a pregnant woman and the same woman with a broken leg to work, and many times prostitutes had tatoos on their bodies with the names of their boyfriends, which is also suspiciuous).

UPDATE 10:
I forgot to mention that most human traffickers seem to avoid direct contact with the brothel operators. They usually send the women alone to the brothel operators, so the women independently arrange their workplace. But in some cases the brothel operators seem to be doing business directly with the human traffickers.

And it seems as if the security company is well on the way of exploiting 10 boats on the Zandpad! They only have to be screened.

The cooperation of prostitutes is not going to work, it seems. They don't have the money, as I suspected.`

UPDATE 11:
Sietske Altink (formerly a worker of the red thread, the small union for prostitutes which recently went bankrupt) confirms the bad stories about the brothel owners of the Zandpad. Read it here:

http://sekswerkerfgoed.nl/geschiedenis-van-het-utrechtse-zandpad/

She tells for instance that in 2001 the red thread spoke with social workers who had contact with prostitutes on the Zandpad. According to the social workers, "third persons" arrange things for prostitutes. Sietske Altink also confirms that the brothel owners demand 'key-money' form the prostitutes, or extort the prostitutes. Employees of the brothel owners also intimidate the prostitutes, and intervene when a client complains (on behalf of the client). Prostitutes sometimes are fired without a reason, while at the same time they don't get the money back which they had paid in advance. Women also complain about the excessive rents, and the fact that they have to pay extra for rooms with air-conditioning. In 2008 prostitutes complain that they are harassed by Bulgarian men. In 1997 women complain that certain taxi drivers work for Wegra, and these taxi drivers interrogate the women about the earnings. In 1997 the women also complain about Moroccans who extort the women.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Saban was really a bad man

This is part 5 of the series in which I attack some of Maggie McNeill’s claims. Maggie McNeill is a former prostitute and madam. The first part of this series is here:

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2013/04/attacking-maggie-mcneill-aka-honest.html

Maggie McNeill’s blog can be found here:

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/

To counter several of her claims, I wanted to write something about Saban B and his gang. This gang exploited prostitutes on De Wallen in Amsterdam, Het Zandpad in Utrecht, De Achterdam in Alkmaar, the red light districts of Den Haag and other places. The gang also exploited prostitutes in other sectors of prostitution, but mainly in the window prostitution areas. They also had some women in sex clubs. The gang was active in the Netherlands in the period 1998-2007. I have already written about the gang in other posts. See here:

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2011/11/saban-and-gang-part-1.html

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2011/12/saban-and-gang-part-2.html

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2012/02/saban-and-gang-part-3.html

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2008/09/sneep.html (in this post the gang members’ names have been altered, and they are not called by their real names)

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2012/09/estimating-number-of-forced-prostitutes.html

In this post I want to tackle two of Maggie McNeill’s ideas:
1. Potential forced prostitutes (if they exist) would probably speak with the police about their ordeal.
2. The big police raids of brothels in several countries never unearth victims of forced prostitution, so forced prostitution isn’t there.

I want to make it plausible that basically all the women who were exploited by the gang of Saban B were treated badly, because it could theoretically be possible that some women were treated badly while most were treated well. I want to do it the following way. The gang was essentially a collective of pimps, with Saban B as the leader. The collective was named ‘the community’ by the gang members. Individual pimps who belonged to the gang each could have a stable of prostitutes, or just one prostitute (there were also some bodyguards who had no stable of prostitutes). Pimps could be admitted into the gang. Several eyewitnesses say that Saban B pushed or incited the other gang members to abuse the women who personally worked for them. This also emerges from several wiretapped telephone conversations. I will translate parts of verdicts (published on rechtspraak.nl) to show this. Important sentences will be highlighted by me.

I have a specific goal in mind when I argue that all the women who worked for Saban’s gang were forced by the gang members. I want to counter Maggie McNeill’s claim that it is a myth to believe that victims of forced prostitution don’t dare to go to the police or otherwise seek help. I argue that this is exactly the case; forced prostitutes often are afraid to seek help, and rarely do. In Saban B’s case only 17 of the 120 women (whom the police associated with the gang) lodged a complaint or testified to the police. I explain extensively how I derived these numbers in this post:

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2012/09/estimating-number-of-forced-prostitutes.html

Now the quotes from the verdicts… (remember: emphases mine) …

I will quote from rechtspraak.nl. See this verdict (with LJN-number BP6723):
http://www.rechtspraak.nl/ljn.asp?ljn=BP6723

Also see the following post in which I translated more parts of this and other verdicts into English:

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2012/02/saban-and-gang-part-3.html

Now the quotes from verdict BP6723:
6. The testimony of witness [person 8] (April 3 and 18, 2008):
(April 3)
In the beginning I was in love with [suspect Tayfun K]. He was kind towards me. That other one, his boss [suspect Saban B], incited him. I worked for [suspect Tayfun K] but I was particularly afraid of [suspect Saban B]. [Suspect Tayfun K] said to me over the telephone "I will give you my boss". He cursed that I had to earn 1500 euro or else I had to leave the Netherlands. [Suspect Saban B] and [suspect Tayfun K] then arranged our workplace. With us I mean [person 25] and I. We first were in Alkmaar. We finally got a workplace in the [address] in Den Haag.
Two wiretapped telephone conversations from the same verdict:
9. A wiretapped conversation between [S] [suspect Saban B] and [T] [suspect Tayfun K] (November 1, 2006 at 20.06.59 hours):
S.: Say to the girls that they have to save the money. They mustn't spend it here and there..say it. Look, they mustn't fuck with others, we will take care that they will be finished then.
T.: I have said it exactly the same way.
(...)
S.: Say it to both of them. They are not allowed to go out with others. (...) they must save the money. Is that okay. (...) in a few days I will take the money...tomorrow, at most the day after tomorrow we will take the money out of their hands.
T.: okay.

10. A wiretapped conversation between [S] [suspect Saban B] and [T] [suspect Tayfun K] (November 1, 2006 at 22.27.13 hours):
T.: I have left them behind (...) I have said it (...) they say agreed.
S.: They say agreed. You should have said about properly saving money.
T.: They will save... They were a little reserved because they had to work naked. (...)
T.: I have said "you are not alone here, everybody does the same" I have said.
S.: Yes.
T.: I will not bring you back again, or else you will buy a ticket here and you can leave. (...) after this she said let me go to Den Haag. I said not today.
In the previous quotes you see how Saban B tried to incite Tayfun K to treat the ladies badly, and to draw as much money from them as possible.

Next I want to quote from the verdict with LJN-number BP7662. It is here:

http://www.rechtspraak.nl/ljn.asp?ljn=BP7662

You can also read the following post in which I have translated more parts from this and other verdicts:

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2011/11/saban-and-gang-part-1.html

Now the quotes from verdict BP7662:
1. The testimony of several police officers (June 22, 2007): 
On May 7, 2007 we, officers, are approached by a woman whom we know under the work name [E]. Her full personal information is: [person 13], born in [place] in 1979, making use of the telephone number [nr.].
It is known to us that [E], together with her girlfriend [W], came from Germany to Den Haag to work in prostitution. The full personal information of [W] is: [person 21], born in [place] in 1978, making use of her telephone number [nr.]. [E] says that since November 2006 she had to hand over money to [suspect Cillekes Ö] who is called [Hakan] who is approximately 25 years old. She asks if it is correct that he has been apprehended. She didn't want to tell much because she was afraid and his little friends still walk about freely here who will carry it out for him. She had just been phoned by him. On Tuesday, May 8, 2007 in the building on the [address] in Den Haag, there were talks with [E] and [W]. [W] tells that she has had a relationship for five years with [Hakan] and that she had to work in prostitution for him. She had to hand over the money to him. When she said that she wanted to stop working she was phoned by [S (comment by Donkey: do they mean Saban?)]. She is very afraid of him and then decided that she should just keep on working. She indicates that since three months ago she got rid of [Hakan]. She is afraid to press charges, in connection with the consequences for her mother and her little daughter in Germany. [Hakan] knows where they live.
[E] tells that she has seen that [S (Saban?)] has beaten a girl with a baseball bat. She has also seen that he beat girls with his fists. Sometimes he went out eating and sleeping with multiple girls. Without reason, one of the girls was maltreated after that. [Saban] was seen by [E] and [W] as the boss. They are very afraid of him.

2. The testimony of [person 21] (January 15, 2010):
Yes, I know [suspect Cillekes Ö]. Another name that I've heard, is [Hakan]. I have had a relationship with him. I got to know him six or seven years ago in Frankfurt am Main. A couple of weeks later we entered into a relationship. He started talking about if I could work in the Netherlands instead of in Germany. I have thought about that. It didn't seem to be a bad idea. I started working in Alkmaar. I handed over my money to [Hakan]. When you ask me on whose initiative I gave the money to [Hakan], then I say that [Hakan] took the money from me. After eight or nine months I left. I saw [Hakan] again two or three years later. That was by coincidence. In Köln I got to know [person 13]. At a certain moment [person 13] was together with a certain [S (Saban?)]. She wanted to visit him in Frankfurt and asked me if I wanted to accompany her. I have done that. In the cafe we encountered [S (Saban?)], and to my big surprise also [Hakan]. They knew each other. That was not known to me and to [person 13]. I then spoke a long time with [Hakan] and we came together again. [Hakan] proposed that [person 13] and I could work in Saarbrücken in a privéhuis. [Person 13] and I weren't there for a long time. [Person 13] didn't earn well there. We then asked if we were allowed to go to the Netherlands and that was allowed by [S (Saban?)] and [Hakan]. I was home for a couple of weeks and then I went to the Netherlands. Then [person 13] accompanied me. We then lived again in a holiday park in Vinkeveen. [Person 13] lived with [person 36] and I lived with [R]. [Person 13] and I worked in Utrecht.
After I asked [person 36] for money for fuel one time, [suspect Saban B] and [Hakan] picked me up together with the jeep of [suspect Saban B]. [Suspect Saban B] was very angry and he wanted that [Hakan] would punish me. [Hakan] tried to calm [suspect Saban B] down a little and he said that it wasn't such a big story anyway. [Suspect Saban B] couldn't be calmed down however during such moments. [Suspect Saban B] then turned around to me in the car and screamed to me who I was supposed to think that I am. As a punishment I had to stay longer at work. I had to work longer. I wasn't allowed to phone. I wasn't allowed to talk to [Hakan]. When I was home I had to go to my room immediately. I felt as if I was punished like a small child. You notice that you see, that while I'm telling this I am very emotional and I'm crying. You ask me why I am so emotional about this. I say to you that I have seen a lot of what [suspect Saban B] has done with other women. He has beaten [person 36], among other persons, with a baseball bat. He pushed her down the stairs. Women were obliged by him to jump in the lake and stay in there until they were allowed to go out. [Suspect Saban B] has repeatedly told other men how they should treat their women. All men from the group were afraid of him. [Suspect Saban B] enjoyed this. He liked it when things happened like he wanted it to happen. [Hakan] also threatened with [suspect Saban B]. [Suspect Saban B] didn't beat me. I wasn't his woman. He did it in a more psychological way. He looks at you in a certain way and he says things in a certain way. Aside from this you see what he does with his own women. [Hakan] also became more and more like [suspect Saban B]. He said that I didn't earn so well anymore. I felt that he started to exert more pressure on me. If I would have given [Hakan] no money he wouldn't have been together with me. I am afraid, especially of a person other than [suspect Cillekes Ö]. I don't want to talk about this person. I don't dare to. He knows how to find me everywhere anyway. I went from the Netherlands to Germany. From Germany to the Netherlands again, and from the Netherlands to Belgium again. The police has said to me that they would give me police protection, but suddenly another person from the group stood before me once again. One time it was [suspect Cillekes Ö] himself. [Hakan] has beaten me one time. He gave me a heavy box on my ears because I didn't listen. [Hakan] was also afraid of [suspect Saban B]. [Hakan] also threatened with [suspect Saban B].
Okay, the previous quotes are important because one victim only dared to speak out when some gang members were arrested. And Saban B had a really bad influence on the other gang members, notably Cillekes Ö. The other gang members were afraid of Saban B, and Saban wanted them to treat the women badly.

From the same verdict:
10. The testimony of [person 94] (February 21, 2004):
Since approximately 2 months I work as an errand boy for a group of pimps on De Wallen in Amsterdam. They are all Turkish man and I only know their first name. They are named [suspect Saban B], [suspect Hasan B], [suspect Nuri T], [Chiko] (…). [Suspect Saban B] and [suspect Hasan B] are brothers of each other. They all come from Germany and know each other for a long time. The group has girls working for them. [Suspect Saban B] and [suspect Hasan B] are leaders of the group. I know that they are also occupied with weapons. I've also seen a firearm with [suspect Saban B], because [suspect Saban B] has threatened me with that. He showed me that weapon and he said that I had to keep on working for him. [Suspect Saban B] arranges weapons, (…) and girls. I believe that the group has at least 10 girls working here. Then they also have girls in Den Haag.
I will tell what [suspect Saban B] orders me to do. When a girl has problems with a client then I receive a telephone call from [suspect Saban B]. Then by [suspect Saban B]'s order I have to go there. Then by [suspect Saban B]'s order I have to beat up the client. I have seen that [suspect Saban B], [suspect Nuri T] and [Chiko] beat up people when they take pictures of the girls. I know that [suspect Saban B], [suspect Nuri T] and [Chiko] have fought with a couple of Moroccans a couple of weeks ago. Everybody in the neighbourhood is afraid of the group. I know that pimps of other girls in the neighbourhood who don't belong to the group pay security levy to [suspect Saban B].
The women and weapons they bring from Germany. I attended that one time. I mean with weapons, these small weapons which you can carry with you.
The group thrashes the whole place here. Threaten everybody and beat up the whole place, frighten people. I'm very afraid of [suspect Saban B] and [suspect Hasan B] and their friends. If they know that I want to press charges against them, then they'll kill me. [Suspect Nuri T] and [suspect Saban B] have seen that I was taken to the police office. They both said in the Turkish language that I must say nothing, or else I was in deep shit.
I have been apprehended because I was supposed to have threatened a whore. I did go to that girl. That happened by order of [suspect Saban B]. I had to say to her that she had to give all her money to [suspect Saban B] and [suspect Hasan B]. I had to threaten her. [Suspect Saban B] said to me that if she would make a fuss then I had to give some beatings.
For two months I have worked every evening for [suspect Saban B]. I was forced to work by him. I couldn't get an evening off.
I am convinced that all girls who are named by me work against their will for [suspect Saban B], [suspect Hasan B], [Chiko], (…) and [suspect Nuri T]. I know of all girls that they have to hand over their earned money.
This last quote is important because one errand boy claims that the at least 10 prostitutes who were forced on De Wallen by the gang were all forced. And apparently people were very afraid of Saban B. By the way, another errand boy or bodyguard seems to suggest the group had around 30 women on de Wallen in Amsterdam. The gang reportedly had around 30-35 gang members, so probably the number of women who worked for them is of that order. You can read it all here in the following posts on my blog:

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2012/09/estimating-number-of-forced-prostitutes.html

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2011/11/saban-and-gang-part-1.html

Now I want to quote from the verdict with LJN-number BP6953:

http://www.rechtspraak.nl/ljn.asp?ljn=BP6953
9. A wiretapped telephone conversation between [suspect Saban B] and [suspect Torsten M] on April 20 2003 at 20:03 hours, Page C-03/224 (investigation [involved person 133]):
[Suspect Saban B] phones with [suspect Torsten M]

(…)
For [suspect Torsten M] it is still weekend. [Suspect Saban B] isn’t satisfied with the weekend. [Suspect Torsten M] has nothing to complain about and says 600 and 800. [Suspect Saban B] says that this amount of money is a disaster for him. [Suspect Torsten M] says that he is not so demanding.
Conclusion: all the prostitutes working for the gang were forced. Saban B simply didn’t allow the members of the gang to treat the prostitutes with respect. Now, how do prostitutes respond when the police perform a routine inspection? I will quote (translate from Dutch) from the report Kwetsbaar beroep - Een onderzoek naar de prostitutiebranche in Amsterdam (Anton van Wijk, Annemiek Nieuwenhuis, Denise van Tuyn, Tom van Ham, Jos Kuppens en Henk Ferwerda, 2010, Bekereeks). You can download it here:

http://www.beke.nl/doc/2010/Kwetsbaar_beroep_download.pdf
Intermezzo – window prostitution: visible and under controle?
In this research we have spoken with various respondents who somewhat reluctantly admit that in window prostitution abuses do occur and that these have to be tackled. But in their opinion these abuses don’t occur to such a degree and extent as is alleged. Their argument is that the window prostitution is the most visible form of prostitution and the most supervised. Operators also have nothing to gain if they would concern themselves with forced prostitution, because using identified abuses the license can be withdrawn. In other words, hardly any abuses can occur. Some criticism can be leveled against this. During the contact with the prostitutes the police can pick up signs of forced prostitution. The reality however is that the contacts are of a very short duration. You can hardly speak of the necessary building up of a relationship of trust with the police officer. It therefore doesn’t occur that the prostitutes report the fact that they are forced or that they make some allusion to it. [this is followed by a note in the book which reads as: One of the respondents named the single exception of one woman who while crying fell into the arms of the police.]
This must be true for all prostitutes in window prostitution, so also for the prostitutes belonging to the gang of Saban B. They just don’t tell it. Maggie McNeill is wrong when she says that potential forced prostitutes would quickly go to the police.

The strange phenomenon of forced prostitutes not daring to speak with the police (inspectors) about their ordeal is also exemplified in the so called ‘Korpsmonitors’, especially the one of 2003. Unfortunately there seems to be no online version of the Korpsmonitor 2003 (R. Coster, 2004, Politie Regio Haaglanden) at the moment. I will quote (translate from Dutch) from the section related to the region Amsterdam-Amstelland:
The tippelzone and the window prostitution is more or less under control, be it that the remark has to be made that this statement limits itself to abuses such as: illegality, minority and false documents. For obtaining a view of classic exploitation this form of contact is too superficial. Regarding the presence of the phenomenon of human trafficking therefore also for that reason no statement substantiated with enough facts can be made.
Conclusion: none of the prostitutes (or except maybe one prostitute) belonging to Saban B’s gang grabbed the opportunity to seek help when the police visited them during routine inspections. So: Maggie McNeill is wrong. This also sheds light on the failed PENTAMETER operations in the UK. Many brothels were raided but no victim of forced prostitution showed up. I think because the contacts with the prostitutes were too superficial. So this cannot be used as an argument to show that forced prostitution is rare in UK brothels. (the same goes for the failed raids in the red light districts of Den Haag, Eindhoven and Alkmaar). I think it takes time to build up a relationship of trust with potential victims of forced prostitution. One raid or one interview isn’t enough.

AU REVOIR!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Goddess Elena

I have done it again. I have visited a prostitute again on De Wallen. Oh hell, it doesn’t matter anymore anyway. It was the Greek Elena or Helena on the Goldbergersteeg again. I have visited here already 2 years ago. She still recognized me. She is a very friendly woman. She is in her thirties, 33 she says (PS: she already worked on de Wallen in 1995). If I would have met her in another context I would have fallen madly in love with her.

After the sex (I came very quickly again and she called me a ‘sex machine’), I decided to tell again (like I did with the Slovakian Angela) that I didn’t dare to visit prostitutes for years because of all the bad stories, and I told her about my weblogs, that I write a lot about the negative sides of prostitution. I told her that I wrote about trafficking in women on my blog, and that you hear a lot of negative stories about de Wallen. She said that I shouldn’t believe everything I read. She said she works independently and her crazy neighbour of hers with these ‘big tits’ too, and many others as well. But many women come and go; Bulgarians, Hungarians, Romanians etc... I asked her if there wasn’t an ‘evil man’ in the background. She said there wasn’t. However, she did know some forced prostitutes. She told about a Bulgarian woman who worked in the first room (nr. 1) of the Goldbergersteeg ([H]Elena herself works in the last room on the other end). The Bulgarian woman told (H)Elena that she had to earn 2000 euro or else she would be beaten up. She told about a Dutch woman who worked on nr. 2 and she was beaten by her Turkish boyfriend. She told that it doesn’t happen only to foreign women but also to Dutch women. But this is what the women tell her themselves, she cannot check it. (H)Elena said that if they want to they can easily walk away. She said, ‘there are my clothes’, and she pointed to a small cabinet. She pointed in the direction of the police office, and said that she could go to the police any time she wanted. If necessary she would walk away in merely her lingerie, she wouldn’t care. She said that the door of her room was always open. She asked me to imagine myself in her place for 5 minutes. What would I do? I said that I would be afraid that my family members would be killed. She looked at me with an expression of surprise. She said that I mustn’t believe these mafia stories, and isn’t there police in the Netherlands? I said that perhaps my family members would be murdered in Hungary. She again said that these mafia stories are nonsense. Isn’t there police there also? She told that once a Turkish man came to her and asked her 50 euro (per day) in exchange for protection. She said that she didn’t accept his offer because in that case she would bring herself into danger. I said that right before I visited her 2 years ago I saw a Turkish man pass her window and ask some things to her. She thought deeply, and said that this was a client. She said to me that for the women who work for such a man this is a choice. In principle they could easily leave. She told in passing about prostitutes with Turkish and Moroccan boyfriends, but I couldn't really follow her.

She said that I was a ‘funny man’, and she squeezed my cheek with her fingers. She said that often she squeezed the cheeks of men. I also squeezed her cheek. She said that there wasn’t a lot of fat on her cheeks. She again said that she could easily walk away, her door is open as usual. ‘See?’, she said. And she opened the door. I asked her if everybody could also walk in then. I left her room and saluted and waved to her.

I disappeared into the evening.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

The gang of the miljardair - part 2

Right now I want to write something about one of the gang members of the so-called bende of de miljardair (gang of the miljardair). I have written something about the gang in the post before the previous post, which you can find here:

http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-gang-of-miljardair.html

One of the (Belgian) gang members, Dirk Trioen, has written a book about his life and his involvement with the gang. This book is called Boter op het hoofd and it was published in 1993. Boter op het hoofd literally means: butter on the head, but it really means that you don’t have room to talk due to your past transgressions. In some sections of this post I will simply follow the text of his book.

Dirk Trioen was active as a criminal since a very young age. At the age of 12 he left school. He comes from a stable and wealthy family. His parents adored him. He tells about his exploits with a certain level of pride. As a young man he was involved in a lot of fistfights in cafés. He tells that if he won such a fight he would leave with a young woman and would have sex with her. If he lost, he would go home empty-handed. Dirk’s father paid for the health costs of Dirk’s victims. He tells about his involvement in the illegal smuggling of drugs, weapons, diamonds, money, and other cargo. He was one of the transport organizers of a large Spanish drug cartel. He tells that these big cartels are almost totally immune from police intervention. Usually only the small traffickers  are caught. And customs officers and other public servants are easy to bribe. He believes that everything is a big conspiracy. He believes that the big crime gangs are protected by the highest echelons. And he believes that the big drug traffickers are so big and powerful that they can influence the national currencies. The big drug traffickers are ruthless. When a smuggler cheats on the gang, by for instance keeping cargo for themselves, they are executed. When the cheaters escape or go into hiding they are tracked down long enough until the deal is done (that is: they are murdered). Dirk Trioen explains (on pages 43-44) that he himself was also handed some missions by the gang. He didn’t murder people, but he sometimes was ordered to intimidate people. Once, together with other people, he even dragged a man into a car and drove with him to a desolate place, where he was undressed, beaten up, and tied to a tree, and then his testicles were set on fire.

He tells (on pages 65-69) that brothels are actually facades of other crimes, notably drugs trafficking. Interestingly enough, this is also what the former Dutch prostitute Jo Doezema claims. I quote from the chapter Power and control in the commercial sex trade by Wendy Chapkis in Sex for sale - prostitution, pornography and the sex industry edited by Ronald Weitzer (2000). Jo Doezema is interviewed in 1993 in Amsterdam by Wendy Chapkis. Jo Doezema also worked for the Red Thread. She says: “There is an incredible amount of drug use in the clubs. It's the big hidden drug problem in prostitution. Everyone thinks of drug-addicted prostitutes as heroin-addicted street workers. But there are many more coke-addicted women working in clubs than heroin-addicted women working on the streets of Amsterdam. I am actually convinced that a lot of clubs are covers for coke dealing from behind the bar.”

According to Dirk Trioen, trafficking in women is just a distraction to draw the attention of the police away from the main source of revenue. He tells that the gang of the miljardair are in reality just the small boys. They also trafficked in drugs and weapons. But the brothels are really just a distraction. He tells that after Chris de Stoop published his book about the gang, that one of the brothels (the Maxim’s) still kept operating, despite the fact that the clientele mostly stayed away. He thinks that drugs and weapons are the key.

Dirk Trioen explains (on pages 119-121) that at one point he became involved with the gang of the miljardair. This happened in 1991. He became the bouncer of the Pin-Up and Maxim’s in Gent (in Belgium). One of the gang leaders, Robert van E, placed Dirk Trioen there to keep the Turkish and Italian criminals outside. Robert van E was afraid these criminals wanted to take over these places. Later Dirk Trioen was handed the management of the Maxim’s, and later also of the City Corner. He even became the official owner of the City Corner. He obviously was just a straw man of the gang. Dirk Trioen didn’t accept that Robert van E passed on all the misery concerning VAT, the taxes and the social inspection to him. A struggle for power unfolded.

Dirk Trioen tells some amazing stories about how he wanted to kill Robert van E, at one point even holding a gun against Robert’s head while Robert was lying in his bed. Dirk Trioen tells how he at first paid bribes to the head of the police in his region, to keep the police’s eyes closed concerning offences. Dirk Trioen even paid him money so the police would protect him against the leading gang members (Marc V, Robert van E, Ferry V). But the leading gang members eventually paid more to the police than Dirk Trioen, so he decided to fight the gang via the court. He aligned himself with journalist Chris de Stoop (who wrote the book They are so sweet, sir) and the social worker Patsy Sörensen of the organization Payoke in Antwerpen (an organization which helps forced prostitutes).

Dirk Trioen tells some interesting things about the prostitutes who worked in the brothels of the gang. Contrary to what Chris de Stoop claims, Dirk Trioen claims that only a few prostitutes who worked for the gang didn’t know what work they were going to do when they were recruited. He explains (on pages 48-49) that during a police interrogation he was asked to what extent the women who worked for the gang were coerced. He explains that the complaints regarding forced prostitution which had been filed (by the victims), had to be trivialized. He explains many of these women already were professional prostitutes in their countries of origin, and they come here simply because they can earn ten times more here. He explains that during his time in the City Corner a woman could earn 80000 Belgian Francs (approximately 2000 euro) there (I assume per month, he doesn’t indicate this), and in the Netherlands they could earn 130000 Belgian Francs (approximately 3250 euro). He says that many of these girls are not pitiful persons, but rock-hard ladies who know damn well what they are doing. They don’t become embarrassed when a client asks them to do it anally, they simply make a little calculation.

But according to him, there is a minority who are actually pitiful, who are coerced into prostitution. From this group of unwilling girls, the pinups, the tall slim fashion models with big pear-shaped breasts and long legs are selected. These girls have to be young – 15 or 16 years old – and beautiful, because then they generate money. When they are little and fat they are simply thrown out. He explains that at first such a girl is put under pressure financially. When she doesn’t give in, she will hardly make money (what the women don’t want because the women obviously come here to make lots of money). When she keeps refusing, physical violence is used. The gang of the miljardair always brings the unwilling girls to the Calander, one of their clubs in Rotterdam. He explains that in Belgium the gang can’t yet permit themselves to maltreat girls. In the Netherlands they can. They have so much power and influence in the Netherlands that they can let beaten girls be taken care of in a hospital without anybody bothering about it. He explains that in Rotterdam Robert van E really has a lot of police officers, magistrates and even doctors in his pocket. And in the Calander things happened very harshly. Girls are not shown the daylight anymore there. They are driven from their room to the podium, and after this they go upstairs again. Initially they are locked up for a couple of days, and after this they receive a beating. First carefully, then harder. And if they still refuse then, the rough means are used. Collective rape. Then starts the breaking of fingers, arms and legs. According to him, this is particularly cruel. He writes, ‘can you imagine what it means when two men hold you by the feet and a third one comes sitting on you to break your forearm with a couple of hard blows?’ He call this the ‘John D[…]-method’, because this British gang member had specialized in this method of torture. But he says that what Robert van E doesn’t dare to do in Belgium, other gangs with more power and strength do dare to do, also in Gent.

Dirk Trioen swore to Chris de Stoop that working together with him (Chris de Stoop) would entail big risks for himself (Dirk Trioen). He would ignite the anger of the gang, and of the police officers, public servants and politicians if he would publicly denounce them. Chris de Stoop promised that he would publicly stand up for him if he would run into trouble. Dirk Trioen describes Chris de Stoop as a weakling. He describes how Chris de Stoop started to tremble and stutter when he handed Chris de Stoop a labour contract which the gang used to exploit a prostitute. He describes Chris de Stoop (on pages 69-70) as a Red Knight who mounts his sniffing horse to fight Evil, and as a modern incarnation of Tintin the reporter. He says that one of the shortcomings of Chris de Stoop’s book They are so sweet, sir is that he describes the gang as a hoard of women traffickers, PERIOD. He believes Chris de Stoop was clearly misjudged about the ‘victims’ involved. He says that one mustn’t forget that the girls in the European cabarets are professionally used to acting/feigning. They continuously simulate passion, tenderness and love. But in their minds they keep track of the bills. The victim role which is so easily suggested to them by shelters such as Payoke of Patsy Sörensen in Antwerpen, is gladly assumed by them, and in the meantime they calculate the bill. He explains that this way, Tintin (Chris de Stoop) obviously gets a wrong picture of the matter.

He describes (on pages 70-71) that when Chris de Stoop claims that the girls who work in the cabarets of the gang are victims of trafficking in women, then this is only a little bit true. The large majority of them were already active in prostitution before their arrival. They knew all too well for what reason they came to Europe. And those people who regularly pay a visit to a brothel would have to admit that the story of Chris de Stoop cannot possibly be true (Dirk Trioen says that ‘this is luckily no television, and you don’t have to stand in front of the camera and testify, sir’). Clients of prostitutes and visitors of cabarets are generally not crazy, perverse people. There are only a few who get a kick out of seeing a crying girl dancing naked. And he says that the erect cock quickly starts to hang when the whore bursts out in tears. The at most ten percent real victims, who have simply walked into an adventure, are therefore worthless for those who want to be involved in trafficking in women. They could not be flown back to their fatherland quickly enough.

He remembers two Danish girls who were obliged in the Maxim’s to give blowjobs to clients. They lodged a complaint with the Public Prosecutor. They had the right to the ‘victim of trafficking in women’ statute, they had 45 days to reflect their position and after this they would receive a residence permit for three months, but the other day they were in the plane going home. Shocked, humiliated, so scandalized that they didn’t want to stay here for five more minutes. The investigating judge and the public prosecutor were obliged to take the airplane to Denmark to complete the investigation. According to Dirk Trioen, these are the real victims, and he says that this way there are indeed some others.

He gives the example of Nadia, a Hungarian girl. She was recruited by one gang member named Laslo D who recruited women for the gang in Eastern Europe. He had promised her an apartment. She only had to dance, and she even didn’t have to drink with the clients, and all this for a nice salary. She ended up with Dirk Trioen and suddenly had to occupy herself with men. She had been with Dirk Trioen for a week, and for a week she cried to whole time. He bought her a ticket back to her own country. She even didn’t want to lodge a complaint. She didn’t want to talk about this with anyone.

But, he says, most women don’t want to go back. They want to stay here. On average the women stay roughly four or five years in the circuit. Then it is difficult to stop them: they run away. But not back to their own country. No, they stay here and start to work for their own account. Bad for the competition, because they work under the price. These ladies know what they want, no matter what Chris de Stoop may think about it. Dirk Trioen says that also the girls who cooperated with Chris de Stoop for his book, are still active in the sector. Dirk Trioen concludes that therefore they couldn’t be that unsatisfied.

He names as another example, a woman named Myriam (on pages 71-72). He calls her ‘also one of these holy Philippine sheep, death innocent’. She arrived with a complete group, and was placed in the Maxim’s. After a couple of days she already accompanied men during daytime to withdraw into a room for her own account. (I believe he means that she serviced her clients outside the Maxim’s, but he is vague about this). Dirk Trioen tells that he quickly noticed this and told the manager of the Maxim’s that they had to talk with her. They made it clear to her that this had to stop. Such things were not allowed. They explained to her that most of these blokes are pimps themselves, and that within no time she would end up in the window prostitution. After many objections he put it very simply: if she wanted to go away, then she would have to put 100000 Belgian Francs (approximately 2500 euro) on the table and then she was free of this. But the contract had to be bought off by her. To bring her into line they let her work in two shifts, so she wouldn’t be left with too much free time. This worked for a couple of days. But during the first free day it happened again. Dirk Trioen didn’t respond. They let her work a little less, gave her more compulsory time off, but she kept seeing her clients privately after her working hours. The best solution seemed to transfer her to the City Corner, so she would come under the direct supervision of Dirk Trioen. He let her sleep in the room of two ‘mamasans’, perfect supervision, little freedom. In the café she only had to drink with the clients. Nothing nude, no rooms, just work. Dirk Trioen explains that with him, this was almost penal camp. After several weeks they could get along with each other very well. Against the wishes of the bosses, he gave her a bit more freedom. She got to know a bloke with whom Dirk Trioen let her do whatever she wanted. More dining out, a little sex every now and then. In short, she had her freedom back: eight hours work, and then no supervision anymore. After a month she worked completely in private prostitution. Dirk Trioen says (when he wrote this) that two years later she was still illegally active in Belgium. He says that this is the kind of girl that lodges a complaint against the women traffickers to the police.

He names as an another example, Maria (on pages 72-73), a Colombian girl. But he says she wasn’t of the kind who lodges a complaint to the police. She knew her job, wanted to make money and has also earned this (amount). He says she was an aggressive, difficult little girl. But he says they have to be this way if they want to survive in the world in which they have ended up. She was without (residence) papers, had arrived illegally from the Netherlands and couldn’t be placed in the Maxim’s because of this. There were too many police checks there. Dirk Trioen says that he had good pals among the police and she could work at his place. After a couple of days she already had some clients and she had a pianist wrapped around her finger. He earned a lot of money, he played in hotels and restaurants in several places. He was just madly in love with her. Dirk Trioen agreed with her that this client was for her, and that she had to pamper him in all ways possible. He came all days and every time he spent around 10000 and 15000 Belgian Francs (between 250 and 375 Euro). After two weeks she went out dining with him, and after this she went back with him to the café to empty him further. She also went to sleep with him and she made him crazy as hell: he was the coolest, the cleverest. When he came in, the girls uttered cries of excitement: the best fucker of Gent had appeared. Dirk Trioen explains he was a big zero. He had a penis of a little guy aged ten and couldn’t do anything with it. A frustrated monkey. He says they laughed lame of the stories which Maria told about him. She had milked him three, four months in a row. When she risked not to able to get rid of him, they had to transfer her. He was devastated because of it. He came to search for her in the Netherlands and there she milked him for a couple of months longer. Dirk Trioen explains that this is how these girls are. He says that this type of women make no pathetic mess of their job. He says what counts for them is the business. He says that they easily earn 100000 Belgian Francs (approximately 2500 euro) per month.

He explains (on pages 73-74) that the sad image that is bestowed on the women (and especially the Philippine women) by good souls such as Chris de Stoop and savvy ladies like Patsy Sörensen, has nothing to do with reality. On the contrary, these women are skilled intriguers, who can exploit their environment within no time. He complains that when they see somebody who operates at the top, a manager of a cabaret or somebody who tightly cooperates with the bosses, then they want to have this person. For them it is a sort of status symbol. Baldheads and fat men turn them on. They have money. And they are fond of bosses. Once they arrive here they start doing it, ‘first job’: to get one of the bosses in their bed. Without embarrassment, without little tears, that is for later, for the cameras. Then they pull open all registers (, he means they start to cry with all the tears they got). They do everything, to win you over this way. They also tried it with him.

I immediately believe Dirk Trioen when he says that most women knew they would be prostitutes when they left their home country. This is generally known about forced or exploited prostitutes. But as you can read in the previous post, Chris de Stoop and Lucie van Mens had made it very clear how the circumstances were in the brothels belonging to the gang. I wonder if you can call this voluntary, even if it’s true that the women earn more than in their own country. I believe you must also be aware that Dirk Trioen was himself part of the gang, and he obviously forced women into prostitution himself, like he has also explained when he threatened Myriam that she had to pay 100000 Belgian Francs to pay off her mock contract. And obviously he wants to shift the responsibility to Marc V, Robert van E and Ferry V, the leading gang members. He himself is obviously the knight in shining armour who saved some girls, notably the 2 Danish and the Hungarian girl. But I think it is true that Chris de Stoop exaggerated some elements in his book, and only named the more extreme cases.

Dirk Trioen also tells about how traffickers in women ironically use the special arrangement that grants victims of human trafficking special privileges, such as the right to stay in the country. Dirk Trioen explains (on page 162) that at the end of August 1993 the gendarmerie of Antwerpen raided a hotel and a cafe in the station area. Seventeen Philippine girls were plucked from the hotel rooms. Dirk Trioen said that the folks in the street cheered (not literally). ‘A victory in the battle against prostitution’. According to Dirk Trioen the contrary was true. The whole operation was set up and tipped by one person named P, who had set it up together with Paul M. It was immediately planned to bring the girls without (residence) papers to Belgium and let them fall under statute of victim of trafficking in women. Dirk Trioen says the girls were no victims at all. They were recruited in the red light district of Manilla. Before they came to Belgium they went through ‘internships’ in Morocco and the Netherlands. In Antwerpen they were immediately displayed for the police in a hotel. All thanks to the legislater, according to Dirk Trioen. Several weeks later they disappeared from the Payoke shelter. They decided to go away because the little plan of P and M was all too transparent.

I want to name another example of a prostitute who Dirk Trioen mentions in his book (on pages 12-13). He describes a Hungarian girl, who resided above the City Corner. He describes her as a beautiful child, with of these typical sad Eastern European eyes, and a body that would have turned every cold war communist into a righteous capitalist. He called her Prasja. He says that Laslo D, the representative of the gang in Eastern Europe, had recruited Prasja. Before she was recruited by Laslo, she had already earned money in prostitution in her home country, but staying their meant living in poverty, and like many she looked eagerly to the rich West. Laslo promised her a generous dancing career in the Western nightlife, and she signed a contract of 2800 Belgian Francs (approximately 70 euro) per day plus 25 percent of the turnover (I believe he means of the sale of beverages). He placed Prasja in the Maxim’s for the classical hostessing and caressing work (that means drinking with clients and caressing them). Dirk Trioen explains that the Maxim’s was a posh place in which the gang had pumped lots of money, and Dirk Trioen believes that undoubtedly Prasja wasn’t unsatisfied with her working conditions. But the agreed money was never paid out. The gang only paid 1000 Belgian Francs (approximately 25 Euro) per day and 10% of the turnover. Above all, Laslo was especially inventive in inventing all kinds of expenses. After deduction of all the expenses, Prasja was left with hardly more than what she would have scraped together in Hungary. Dirk Trioen tells that he helped the girl escape the grips of Laslo and the gang, and placed her in a brothel of a friend of his where she earned more.

And now another example from Dirk Trioen’s book (on page 46). At one point (early 1992) Dirk Trioen wanted to cooperate with the police and judiciary, to battle the other gang members this way. He offered them to expose the complete inner workings of the gang in exchange for residence permits for three Brazilian girls whom Dirk Trioen had helped to escape from the gang and whom he had sheltered in the Netherlands. (On page 56 you can read the women were born in 1967, 1970 and 1964.) He says that the word ‘Brazilian’ is in this context almost synonymous with hot and horny. Also these girls were whores of the highest order. Hard in business, but willing for the work. He says that pedigree horses like these made a cabaret into a goldmine, and they themselves obviously didn’t become worse of it either. He says that he often visited them at their homes, or they went to a hotel for a little frolic (=wrestling party = sex), always worthwhile according to him. But one day during a raid in Antwerpen they were arrested and expelled to the Netherlands, where they had to work in the cabarets of the gang in Rotterdam without (residence) papers. They were hardly paid for their services, but without (residence) papers they could do nothing to stop their exploitation. Partly to please them, partly to frustrate Robert van E, Dirk Trioen took them away from there and brought them to a hiding address. He promised them to arrange the (residence) papers for them.

Dirk Trioen complains a lot about Patsy Sörensen of the Payoke shelter. He says (on page 138) that they decided to work together at one point. Together they gave a press conference to inform the public about the gang of the miljardair. A lot of journalists were present. But that evening things went wrong already because the BRTN phoned that they had cancelled the broadcast because Dirk Trioen was involved. Patsy Sörensen was in tears, and blamed Dirk Trioen that he had abused her and had contaminated her reputation. After a couple of days they reconciled again. Dirk Trioen noticed that all the women whom Patsy Sörensen had sheltered were again working in prostitution. He pointed it out to her, but it turned out that she was completely aware of the situation. Even more: it was Patsy Sörensen herself who had put the women to work, but this time with reliable, befriended pimps. He explains (on pages 140-141) that a girl, whom he named Anita, came knocking at the door of Payoke. She claimed that she was a victim of trafficking in women and laid a claim to the ‘statute victim of trafficking in women’. Dirk Trioen believes that the gang of the miljardair uses this statute to arrange a residence permit for 135 days. He says that Patsy Sörensen let herself be tricked again and again, happy as she was with another victim. He explained to Patsy Sörensen that he knew Anita all too well. She first came to Belgium at the end of 1989 and had worked as a dancer via the gang in Gent. After three months she returned to her home country. During her second period in Belgium she started to work as a dancer in Brussel and in Gent. Also then she returned to her country. The third time, Anita came to Belgium as a tourist and she started to work on her own in Antwerpen. In the meantime she started a relationship with a member of the vice police in Antwerpen, a friend of Patsy Sörensen. The cop sent Anita to Payoke and she could immediately start enjoying her victim status. Dirk Trioen believes it is a good starting position to work in the private prostitution. Dirk Trioen also became very angry that Patsy arranged for a drug addicted girl to work in a brothel. He says that Patsy Sörensen even arranged that the police left the ‘good’ pimps alone.

I must admit that this piece of writing of mine is very fragmented but I want to end with Dirk Trioen’s adventures in prostitution prior to the gang of the miljardair. At the end of the seventies, when he was only 16 years old, he worked for a gang which he called the ‘Marseille-clan’ (he explains it all on pages 59-64.) According to Dirk Trioen they controlled the whole Belgian coastal area, and according to him they still do (at the time of writing around 1993); Nieuwpoort, De Panne, a part of Knokke and especially Oostende stay the exclusive domains of the mafia from Marseille. André L was a local straw man of the gang. In Oostende André L was the owner of the cabaret/brothel the Moulin Rouge. Dirk Trioen became his bodyguard and the doorman of the Moulin Rouge. According to Dirk Trioen, André L was deeply involved in trafficking in women. He regularly drove with André L to Marseille to pick up fresh new girls. All the women who worked in the cabarets in the coastal area came via Marseille, from Thailand, Morocco, Tunisia, etc.. He says at that time they weren’t familiar with the Philippine women yet. Dirk Trioen says that at that time it all was harsher than it is now (at the time of writing around 1993). He says the gang of Marseille were no good guys, no cowards like the ‘idiots’ of the gang of the miljardair, who shit in their pants when somebody wants to teach them a lesson. When a girl from the cabaret of André L made the mistake to become annoying, or refused to service clients, then the Frenchmen came to collect her. Dirk Trioen says that he didn’t know what happened with them, only, he didn’t want it to happen to him. In 1978 André L ended up in prison for a long time.

All in all, I believe that Dirk Trioen has provided some interesting material about the gang of the miljardair, but obviously he wants to exonerate himself as much as possible, and he hardly shows compassion for the women who chose to work in prostitution, or who already were prostitutes. Once a person choses to work in prostitution, it seems as if they lose all their dignity and rights it seems. (Okay, I have ‘boter op het hoofd’ myself).

After Dirk Trioen’s revelations he left the criminal scene and became permanently jobless. He lost his house and requested the help of Chris de Stoop and Patsy Sörensen who reluctantly decided to help him. He lived in a caravan for a while with his wife and children. He was depressed and struggled with his health ever since. In 2005 he made a suicide attempt and in 2006 he finally died of an overdose of medication.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

I am sick

I don't know what's wrong with me, but I thought I had it all under control. For over six months I haven't visited a prostitute. Perhaps it's the weather or something, but last Monday I visited a prostitute again. And obviously it was on de Wallen, the worse place you can go to regarding forced prostitution and exploitation.

I met a very friendly Slovakian prostitute there, whom I have visited before. This was on the Bethlemsteeg. She calls herself Angela, and she is around 27 years old. She allowed me to kiss her butt, which I liked very much. Obviously I went through one of my premature ejaculations, which is a problem I am also struggling with.

Now that I was there anyway, I decided to bring up the subject of forced prostitution. I told her that for years I didn’t dare to visit prostitutes because of all the horror stories of trafficking in women. Her facial expression looked very gloomy when I said this. I told her that for some reason I wasn’t that afraid anymore, and that you don’t hear so many bad stories anymore about de Wallen. She seemed to evade the subject. She said lots of things have changed there, windows have closed etcetera. But she says, some others windows should already have been closed too, but they are still open, and nobody talks about it.

I said to her what the prostitute on de Wallen (probably in the Trompettersteeg) said to me 9 years ago, that she herself didn’t have a pimp, but many other girls did have a pimp. Angela told me that she herself work completely for herself, and, that the other girls she knew there also worked independently. She made a sweep with her arm to indicate all the girls around her (many Eastern European prostitutes in their early twenties from Bulgaria, Romania, Albania etc...). She said everything was expensive and that she had only 5 or 6 clients a day. I think she wanted to indicate that there was really nothing to pluck from her, not interesting for pimps.

Well, I hope she’s right about all the girls working independently, but I know all too well how forced prostitutes can hide their situation from the outside world, and even present themselves as happy independent prostitutes.

I don’t understand myself. Perhaps I should turn to the theories of David Ley who says that sex addiction doesn’t exist, and all the problems lie with the so-called ‘sex-addicts’. (But there are also people who say that psychological illnesses don’t exist in the first place and that defining psychological illnesses is totally subjective.) Here’s an article written by David Ley (Porn is not the problem—you are, May 20, 2013, Psychology Today):

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/women-who-stray/201305/porn-is-not-the-problem-you-are

David Ley says it is because some men have grown up with very conservative ideas about sexuality, and on top of that also have a high libido, and that’s why they compulsively seek out sexual thrills which are contrary to their beliefs, and that’s why they call themselves sex addicts…. or something. Well, I think in my case it’s just that I don’t know what I want or what I should believe, and that I am genetically programmed to search for boundaries to cross (it runs in the family). My theory is actually that sexuality is all about transgressing boundaries regarding the sensitive parts of our body (the anus, the vagina, the penis, the nipples, the mouth, etc…). Without taboos sexuality isn’t exciting anymore.

To make things worse, I nowadays have a very strong craving for sex without condom. The thought of it excites me very much, but it is soooo dangerous. I think because it is transgressive, just like visiting the Wallen, the place NOT to be if you want to avoid forced and exploited prostitutes. The awful thing is that there are quite a lot of prostitutes who offer intercourse without condom, and many more who offer oral sex without condom. I find it very exciting to read their advertisements and reviews (that is of prostitutes who offer intercourse without condom). At one point I even made an appointment with a prostitute who offered everything without condom. I started to feel very sick and cancelled the appointment shortly after this. Later I discovered this young lady is addicted to drugs and under the spell of a man. She receives clients in a dirty illegal brothel where also some other girls receive their clients. They are guarded by a man who sits in another room.

At one point I stood before the window brothel of a prostitute (in the Doubletstraat) who is also known to offer everything without condom. I already asked her name, but I didn’t go inside. I wasn’t really attracted to her.

I believe I have a big problem with making choices. Perhaps there is an empty cavity within me which I want to fill. I don’t fully understand myself. I have to find out. I couldn’t be because I don’t have a girlfriend. I think if I would have one that I would still visit prostitutes anyway. I like to break boundaries, but I ask myself, why?? Is it natural, or am I just mad?? What is being mad actually?