GENEVA (AFP) - A Swiss court on Wednesday sentenced a Turkish man to eight-and-a-half years behind bars for human trafficking and pushing dozens of mainly Romanian women into prostitution, the ATS news agency reported.
The 38-year-old man, who had run a brothel in Nidau, near Biel in north-western Switzerland, was found guilty by the regional Bern court of trafficking 45 underprivileged women who had arrived in Switzerland as tourists, mainly from Romania, according to ATS.
Once they entered the brothel, the women had been kept under constant surveillance by accomplices of the head man, who received lesser sentences on Wednesday, the news agency reported.
The brothel boss, whose name was not given, was also found guilty of sequestration and endangering the lives of others, as well as of drug-related crimes.
He was arrested with six others, mostly Turkish and Romanian citizens, in a 2007 police sting that led to the release of 17 prostitutes being held in the brothel.
The man himself denied all the charges, acknowledging only that he had run the brothel, and his defence lawyer had called on the court to hand him an eight-month suspended sentence.
Prosecutors argued he had created an atmosphere of terror in the brothel and called for a 10-year sentence, according to ATS.