Fact: The Romanian Orphanage Trust's technical assistance in organizational development correlates with the Romanian mafia's "quantum leap" in organizational development.
Trust Activities: The Molserv project (aided by Piemonte county), which took place in Chisinau, Moldova, was a vocational training and regional development project...funding is available for transational partnerships concerning activities such as exchange of experience, training officers and elected members and seminars. (95-96 annual report)
Mafia Activities: In the Turin (Piemonte county) example, he says there is a full tree of a military organization with a figurehead and second line in command... "this is a quantum leap" in the development of such a group," says Nicoli.
Fact: The Romanian Orphanage Trust's financial activities during this time overlap with the mafia's financial activities during this time.
Trust activities: "I tried to tell them [the Trust] there was too much money being spent on entertaining." Article goes on, "The level of spending is exemplified by an invoice for a two-day party for staff and contacts in October 1994 at the Golden Blitz restaurant [featuring live entertainment] in Bucharest." The claim was, "the bill was not 'excessive,' adding, 'it was part of an international conference over five days, three of which were in Bucharest."
Mafia activities: "Under conditions similar to slavery, they were then sent from these flats to well-known entertainment venues and hotels--such as Hotel Intercontinental, Athenee Hotel Hilton and Victoria Casino--to meet clients."
Fact: The Romanian Orphanage Trust misallocated money that went "missing" at the exact same time that the sex trafficking mafia was rolling in it.
Trust activities: "Young viewers raised [pounds sterling] 6.5 million, the highest amount ever collected by the television show's Christmas appeal. But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a mere [pounds sterling] 300,000 of Blue Peter donations has been spent on constructing houses."
Mafia activities: The Balint brothers lived in the lap of luxury...the empty lion's cage is still there, behind the white walls that surround Ion Balint's mansion."
Fact: The Romanian Orphanage Trust's lavish expenditures matches the mafia's lavish expenditures, down to the very assets.
Trust activities: "Pin 2 [lottery winners, of which the Trust was one of them] With a total amount of 2 million euro...announced that it had accomplished construction activities and acquired cars (without mentioning the number and trademark of these cars)."
Mafia activities: "When ordinary Romanians would be lucky to afford a Dacia, the members of the Camataru clan were seen driving around in armoured military jeeps to and from the white washed country estate in Ferentari - where Ion Balint had already acquired his own private zoo, complete with a racehorse."
Analysis: Keep in mind that these guys were petty burglars before, who could never have afforded zoos and racehorses absent a serious infusion of cash from... well, foreigners..
Fact: In areas where foreign NGOs worked, Romanians began claiming that the shoddily constructed mansions peppering the area were "built on the back of gang crime in Britain" involving child trafficking.
Trust activities: Misspent funds on overpriced "construction" and "cars," did not specify on what kind.
Mafia activities: "When some of them made vast amounts earned from everything from begging and pickpocketing, child trafficking and prostitution, through to scrap metal theft, the slums were dismantled to make way for yet more palatial homes."
Analysis: This article is worth reading. Pictures of these homes include expensive cars with British license plates, and roofs with an Eiffel tower or Statue of Liberty on top. Locals also commented that such wealth did not exist before the early 90s.
Fact: The Trust developed a "social exchange" partnership, which enabled "professionals" to go on "study tours." Similarly, locals report the mafia members engaging in trafficking are gone for many months at a time doing business in the UK and France. In addition, an ex-orphanage worker runs sex tours for Westerners to come and enjoy little boys.
Trust Activities: "The Trust's "technical assistance" programme forms a separate division, Social Exchange, which consists of a partnership between European NGOs and local authorities in support of the program in Romania."(click on the 22-Jan-97 return)
Mafia activities: (interviewed local) "I know they work in England, Germany, and France. For months they are gone and they send money back to their families here in the village. As you can see, a lot of money, that is what keeps the wealth growing here."
Ex-orphanage worker (see story 10): Tom runs sex tours for Westerners and advertises them on his website. "I think Tom sends pictures of them and says, "we'll send you this one for this day. If you come here every week you can have a different one for this day." "Technically it's not legal if you introduce them for money, money is not legal. So you give them presents. They are your friends and you give them presents."
Fact: Mark Richard Owen-Ward sat on the board of the Trust's "Trading" branch until 1995. In 1997 until 2004 he served as a director of Reed Recruitment Services. Traffickers frequently use promotional material of recruitment companies to lure women into sex slavery.
(From the book, The Natashas): "Many of the ads are placed by seemingly legitimate employment agencies that have hung out shingles in Romania, the Czech Republic and Ukraine. Some agencies have gone so far as to set up "career day" booths at universities in Russia, promising profitable work abroad. Most of these firms, or intermediaries, are nothing more than hunting grounds for criminal networks involved in the lucrative sex industry. For more than a decade, unscrupulous recruiters have snared upwards of 175,000 a year from the former Soviet Republics and delivered them as sacrificial lambs to traffickers, pumps and brothel owners in foreign lands.
Reed activities: Based on a cursory glance, Reed does in fact have recruiting branches in Romania today. I do not, however, know when they commenced work. Complicating this matter is that these directors have a spider's web of subsidiaries. James Andrew Reed, for example, is the director of a whopping 63 recruitment-related organizations and trusts. I spent maybe 30 minutes looking into this before I realized "recruiting women/teenagers as a tool for sex slavery" was ancillary to the "running children's homes to traffick them," and to not go down this massive rabbit hole.
Fact: The Trust emphasized hiring local Romanians to manage orphans. The Romanian mafia uses orphans for their criminal enterprises.
Trust activities: "The Romanian Orphanage Trust is one of the major British agencies active in the child care field [in Romania]. One of its priorities is training local people so that the necessary skills and 'know-how' are developed within Romania."
Mafia activities: "The crime bosses recruited their members from Romanian orphanages. According to the prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo, the 'orphans' were trained in robbery at an "academy of crime." (From The Natashas): "Traffickers often know precisely when these girls are to be turned out of the institutions ("some orphanage directors sold information... to traffickers") and are waiting for them, job offers in hand. The State Department also notes that throughout Russia, there are reports of children being kidnapped or purchased from...orphanages for sexual abuse and child pornography" and that child prostituion is "widespread" in orphanages in Ukraine. And in Romania, "many orphanages are complicit in letting girls fall victim to trafficking networks."
Note: The ECT has done work in all of these countries.