In the severest ever human trafficking sentence in Kosovo, three Albanian citizens have been jailed for up to 12 years for luring young women to the United Nations-administered province with false promises of legitimate work, only to try to force them into prostitution.
Investigation into the case involved the joint efforts of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Kosovo Police officers, the Department of Justice, the Prizren District Public Prosecutor's office and military police from KFOR, the multinational security force.
A court panel, composed of two international and one Kosovan judge, sentenced Vladimir Ukaj and Robert Sylaj to 12 years each in prison and Sabri Islami to 10 years after they were found guilty of 11 of the 12 charges filed against them, including trafficking in human beings, rape, facilitation of prostitution and falsification of documents.
During the investigation two Albanian female victims, one of them 16 years old, were identified and rescued by the police. Both had been lured to Kosovo with false promises of legitimate work, only to find that their supposed employers were in fact intending to force them into prostitution, UNMIK said.