Human traffickers convicted by Higher Court in Belgrade

BELGRADE -- The Higher Court in Belgrade on Monday convicted five human traffickers to a total of 15 years in prison.

The court found members of the criminal group - identified only with their initials as S.A., Z.D., Z. Ž., S.I., andi D.K. - to be guilty of trafficking women in Serbia and Moldavia for sexual exploitation.

Two defendants have been acquitted, the Atina NGO, which deals with human trafficking, said in a statement.

The group was arrested as they were providing a Moldovan woman with fake documents and "threatening her not to says anything if problems occurred," the statement said.

The victim was previously brought to Serbia illegally after she was falsely promised a job as a waitress.

While she was illegally transferred over the border, the victim "had to hide in a river for several hours, and then in a corn field, and for this reason later had health issues," the NGO said in its statement.

When the traffickers were arrested, the woman was given temporary accomodation at a shelter operated by the organization.