A woman freed from the sex trafficking ring shows signs of the torture she faced in footage aired by Lebanon’s Orient TV. Image Credit: Youtube

Beirut: Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party leader Waleed Junblatt accused unnamed senior government officials of complicity in the sex trafficking ring dismantled by police a week ago.

“This [sex] ring has been working for years with senior officials complicit in the art of secrecy,” Junblatt wrote on Twitter, although he did not reveal the name(s) of those he suspected of complicity.

According to the Druze leader, the sex slavery ring had been in business for several years with the full knowledge of senior officials at the Vice Squad. “Do you know that the prostitution ring has been unveiled by coincidence and through a free officer with a clear conscience?” Junblatt tweeted.

Last Thursday, the Internal Security Forces (ISF) busted what was labelled the “most dangerous” human trafficking and prostitution ring in Lebanon, which freed at least 75 women held against their will in raids on brothels in Jounieh, north of Beirut. In addition to the women, mostly of Syrian origin, 20 men were arrested on a Hezbollah tip-off.

According to the MTV television station, a Syrian public passenger van “rescued” four scantily-dressed young women last Friday in a non-residential street in Beirut’s southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold. The driver took them to an apartment where he lived with a number of Syrian compatriots, where the women were sexually harassed though their screams alerted neighbours who, in turn, informed Hezbollah’s ‘security committee’ in the area. When the latter arrived, they detained everyone in the apartment, before the women and presumably some of the men present in the apartment were turned over to the ISF.

Junblatt has now raised the ante, although it was interesting to note that he waited all this time to inform the ISF about something he acknowledged knowing about for years.

The wily strongman added fuel to the fire when he also tweeted: “Do you know that a ‘hawk’ judge has requested a subordinate judge to go slow in the investigations in the network [referring to the looming internet crisis]?” “How would he not [the judge] do that while top security and media figures, in addition to administrators, are involved in the network?” he asked. No one responded as Gulf News went to press.