Members of the Brussels-south police zone rescued on the night of 4 January a French girl (16) from the clutches of a Brussels gang, who 'bought' the 16-year-old from her boyfriend, imprisoned her and forced her into prostitution for a number of weeks.
At the end of November, the girl had an argument at school and ran away from home, travelling from France to Belgium via car with her French boyfriend, Nieuwsblad explains.
Upon arriving in Belgium, the young couple came into contact with a notorious Brussels street gang, who 'bought' the girl from her boyfriend in exchange for €2,000.
The 16-year-old girl was subsequently locked up by the gang, who imprisoned her in various locations, including a basement in Uccle and a hotel in Ixelles. The gang took control of the girl's mobile phone and created an online profile for her on a prostitution website, charging an hourly fee of €150. Over two weeks, the underage girl recieved over 160 calls from 'customers', HLN writes.
In both the basement in Uccle and the hotel in Ixelles, the young girl was forced to have sex with customers.
While the girl's boyfriend reportedly stayed with her for some time, he soon returned to France. His location remains unknown.
Police discovered that two other underage French girls were also locked up for a number of weeks and forced into prostitution by the gang.
After a number of weeks, the Brussels police were alerted about the situation after a friend, living in France, noticed a photo of the missing teenager on the prostitution site concerned.
After a sudden influx of male visitors to a particular house in Uccle, the Brussels police were able to map the specific location of the house where the girl was being imprisoned.
Last week, during the night of 4 and 5 January, the police raided the house in Uccle and rescued the underage French girl. Seven people, all of whom are suspected to be part of a notorious Brussels gang known by the police for committing over 200 crimes, including rape, were arrested.
"Thanks to the passionate investigation of the south zone detectives, seven people have now been arrested," said spokesperson for the Brussels public prosecutor, Stephanie Lagasse. "The seven [individuals] are suspected of human trafficking and prostitution with minors," Lagasse added.
Most of the seven men, all of whom are in their twenties, are believed to be from Saint-Gilles.
The Brussels Times