Pole ‘raped teenage girl who fled Ukraine after luring her home with accommodation offers’
A man has been arrested in Poland on suspicion of raping a 19-year-old woman whom he lured to his home on the internet with offers of accommodation after fleeing Ukraine.
In an incident that has fueled growing fears of human trafficking and sexual exploitation following the Russian invasion, Wroclaw police say they arrested the 49-year-old suspect on charges of rape.
He could face up to 12 years in prison for this “brutal crime”, authorities said. “He met the girl by offering his help through an internet portal,” police said in a statement.
“She escaped from war-torn Ukraine, spoke no Polish. She trusted a man who promised to help and shelter her.
“Unfortunately, it all turned out to be a deceptive manipulation.”
In another reported case in Poland, which has taken in around 1.5 million refugees from neighboring Ukraine, a man was overheard promising work and a room to a 16-year-old girl before authorities intervened.
And a separate account of a refugee camp on the Polish border of Medyka emerged after suspicions were raised when a man only offered help to women and children.
When questioned by the police, he changed his story. But as millions of women and children cross Ukraine’s borders in the face of Russian aggression, concerns grow over how to protect the most vulnerable refugees from human traffickers or victims of other forms of exploitation.
“Obviously all the refugees are women and children,” said Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams, UNHCR’s global communications officer, who visited the borders of Romania, Poland and Moldova.
“You have to worry about the potential risks of trafficking, but also of sexual exploitation, exploitation and abuse. These are the kinds of situations that traffickers seek to take advantage of,” she said.
The UN refugee agency says more than 2.5 million people, including more than a million children, have already fled war-torn Ukraine in what has become an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. in Europe and its fastest exodus since the Second World War.