Several young Hungarian men who were lured to America in 2012 and forced into a gay prostitution ring are free this week, following the arrest of their captors in New York and Miami on Friday.
According to police, 31- year old Gabor Acs, 28-year-old Viktor Berki, and 24-year-old Andras Janos Vass have been charged with human trafficking, racketeering, and deriving support from prositutuion for their alleged involvement in the illegal business, which pimped out young European men who made up to $40,000 each per month for their captors.
Prosecutors say the victims, at least three men ages 20-22, were scouted on the gay dating service Gay Romeo (think European Manhunt) and were lured to America with the promise of making quick money doing legal work abroad.
When the victims arrived in America, police say they were forced to live in a tiny one-bedroom New York apartment that housed up to eight trafficked prostitutes. For up to 20 hours a day, the men were forced to have sex with clients and each other, sometimes on cam sites, for absolutely no pay.
Police say the men were threatened with violence and even death if they tried to escape, and while they were allowed to leave the apartment for limited times, they had no money, no ID documents, and could not speak English.
“This case serves as a reminder that sex trafficking is not limited to any particular race, gender, age or sexual orientation,” Miami Homeland Security Investigations agent Alysa Erichs told the Miami Herald.
The trafficking ring was eventually discovered after the victims were moved from New York to Miami, where neighbors of the house they were being kept in called police after suspecting an illegal business was being run there.
Neighbors told NBC Miami that a never-ending parade of luxury vehicles were constantly parking in the home’s driveway, and they became suspicious when a sign advertising $5 car washes was placed on the home’s front door. Police have since confirmed the car wash business as a front.
Unfortunately for the victims, justice will not come in the form of a huge cash payout despite the horrifying ordeal they suffered, which could have netted nearly $2.8 million since their capture. Police have seized all cash related to the business as part of the investigation.