When Ludmila first succeeded in escaping, she was handed back to her pimp by the duty sergeant, who happened to be a client of the brothel. In response, she was beaten senseless by her “owner”. The second time she got away, she handed herself in to a police station in another part of town. As is habitual, she was charged with being an illegal immigrant and thrown into a detention center for several months as her deportation order was processed.
When she finally arrived back in Chisinau, destitute and traumatized for life, Ludmila could not return to her home, partly for reasons of shame but above all for fear of being found by her traffickers. Hers is an everyday story of life in Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Egypt, and Israel.
The day after I had spoken to Ludmila, her case worker called. “I forgot to mention,” she said, “Ludmila is now HIV-positive.” Unsurprisingly, combination therapy is not readily available in a country such as Moldova.1
- Glenny, M. (2008). McMafia: a journey through the global criminal underworld. pp. 109-110. New York: Knopf Books. [↩]