The 38-year-old met the Tunisian man online. The nascent affection caused the woman to take a holiday trip to Tunisia to meet a new acquaintance. An online admirer in real life showed a different face.
Last week, the woman contacted an investigator from the Human Trafficking Department of the Criminal Police Headquarters in Katowice by text message asking for help. She had the police officer's service number written down because she had been a witness in one of the criminal cases a few years earlier.
With the help of Silesian police, a Polish woman held and abused in Tunisia by a man with whom she had previously made acquaintance over the Internet has been freed and returned to Poland, according to the press team of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Katowice.
Police officers quickly activated all contacts and used technical possibilities to determine the woman's whereabouts. They established cooperation with the Polish Embassy in Tunisia and the consulate. They also contacted the International Police Cooperation Office of the National Headquarters, through which they notified Interpol, which in turn notified the Tunisian police. Services there found the 38-year-old and arrested her abuser.
According to information provided to police by the Polish embassy in Tunisia, the woman was kidnapped, held, and beaten. The Tunisian also planned to make contact with her relatives to extort money from them.
Silesian police officers have also established cooperation with the La Strada Foundation, which deals with helping victims of human trafficking. A procedure was initiated to bring the 38-year-old back to her home country, which was successful on Monday (27 Sep). Thanks to the help of the services, the woman returned safely to Poland. The Minister of Foreign Affairs took care of the situation of the Polish woman in Tunisia.
Police officers appeal for caution and application of the principle of limited trust concerning people who contact us via social media, trying to establish an intimate relationship. We should be particularly vigilant when the person we are corresponding with builds a "close" relationship with us very quickly, encourages us to visit them alone, asks for money. However, it also happens that criminals work on their victims for many months or even years.
Police officers point out that a journey to a distant and unknown place, where the law, culture, and customs are different, can be completely different from our vision and bring many pitfalls and dangers - from the difficulties of everyday life - such as lack of resources and personal problems - to situations in which we become a victim of crime. This can include theft, extortion, forced labor, or forced prostitution.
Source: Poland Daily 24, twitter.com, niezalezna.pl, pap.pl