Four acquitted of human trafficking

Women who filed report were living as tourists, court finds

Two Greek dancers who claimed they were being exploited and held against their will were in fact living the life of normal tourists, a court ruled today. 

The court found that two men and two women accused of having trafficked the two women to work as dancers and prostitutes were not guilty of the charges.  

Mario Pace, 36, Carmelo Sciberras, 53, Ionela Stefania Iordache 36, and Denisa Maria Pirlici, 30 had been accused of having lured the two women to work as dancers for two of the accused, namely Mr Sciberras and his partner Ms Iordache, who ran The Black and White gentlemen's club.

Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit heard how the two dancers involved, Ana Maria Dimitrescu and Virginia Pope, had filed a report alleging they were being exploited against their will.

Police raided the club but did not find any evidence of illegal sexual activities, since at the time the premises were closed. The court found that there was no evidence of any such activity at the club, and that it was merely a normal gentlemen's club with dancers.

In their testimony, the two alleged victims had claimed that upon their arrival in Malta they had been escorted to an apartment in St Julians and were only let out by permission, and always in the company of one of the accused.

However CCTV footage of the apartment as well as data retrieved from their mobile phones showed that the ladies were actually living like normal tourists.

For this reason the court found the accused not guilty of the illegal arrest or detention of the two ladies who, the court heard, had in fact been working as dancers in Greece and had often rendered sexual services in a club therein.

The accused were assisted by lawyers Joe Giglio, Edward Gatt and Henri Antoncich.