A multi-agency investigation that reaches as far as Tennessee is focusing on a “large scale” Somali gang-run prostitution ring in Minnesota, according to court documents.
Teen gangs and teen prostitution are known problems in the community, Jibreel said, but the human trafficking is a new phenomenon. Jibreel said he did not know who A.A.A. is, but said girls who have recently arrived in the country are especially vulnerable.
Heather Caillier of the St. Paul-based nonprofit Breaking Free said she has heard for a couple of years about women and girls in the Twin Cities Somali community being forced into prostitution.
She said the main concern of her organization is helping victims, but they’ve had difficulty reaching them because of cultural barriers.
Based on information from the search warrant, Caillier said, the case “could have pretty serious implications, and it sounds like it’s more of an organized-crime type of ring.”
“This opens up and sheds light on an issue we know is going on and nobody’s really talking about,” she said. “It’s not just in the Somali community. It’s all over the place.”