The Riga Municipal Police acted on information on possible human trafficking as a person turned to the police for help. State Police said that during the investigation facts came to light that aren't often seen even by professionals.
The investigation lead to a 16-year-old female who turned out not to be a victim but an organizer of the crime.
The probe revealed that at least starting 2014 the 16-year-old had received money for bringing her clients to underage girls - her acquaintances - who were sexually abused in return for cash.
After her first client, who, according to the investigators, was a 1971-born man seeking to have sex with virgins, she went on to find more clients by posting advertisements online.
One of the abused girls was pronounced missing for one and a half months, and investigators said it could be that during that time she was held in several apartments by the 16-year-old. The girl had been forced to drink and was sexually abused on a regular basis.
The possible organizer regularly changed her place of residence. She spent her earnings for paying the rent, buying necessary products, and entertainment. She spent part of the money on the two victims to motivate their further involvement in the scheme.
Criminal proceedings on human trafficking have been started against the 1971-born male and the 16-year-old female. The crime can be punished with up to 15 years in prison.
The two persons were detained in autumn, and as the suspected female is underage she was not arrested, but as she broke the terms of the court she was put behind bars in December.
Several clients have been already been apprehended during the ongoing investigation, and they could end up serving up to five years behind bars.