Human trafficking is a big, ugly business. Interpol estimated that there are more than two million victims at any given time. Approximately eighty percent are exploited for sexual slavery and are predominantly women and girls. The odds of escaping or being rescued from this life are one in a hundred.
Agent Porter vowed to improve those odds by tearing down the organizations responsible. It would not be easy work, but she wasn’t the type to back down from a challenge.
Within three years, the tenacious agent had closed several small trafficking rings. The first of which was right in downtown London, and then others in the Philippines, Africa and Mexico. Her arrest and conviction rates were astounding.
Meticulous notes and great instincts were the reason for her success. She left little to chance. Like many Interpol agents, she worked alone until it was time for the arrest. Then she would turn to local law enforcement for assistance or Special Forces teams -- if the bad guys were extremely tough or very well-armed. She especially liked working with US Navy Seals. During all three of the take downs she had paired up with them, they had been fast, professional and capable.
An SAS squad from her home country had worked with Agent Porter on one of the cases. While they were very good, two female victims had died during the raid. It hadn’t seemed like such a success to Janet. The Mossad team she’d worked with had been extremely capable, but there seemed to be a trust issue. They hadn’t trusted her judgment and the feeling became mutual.
Finally, after years of chasing small players in the human smuggling business, Janet got wind of a large one in Eastern Europe. Though she didn’t know it at the time, Agent Porter was on the trail of the largest, most successful, trafficking ring in modern history.
She was soon in Bulgaria. Alarming numbers of young Eastern European women were disappearing. The promise of a better life in North America, the United States in particular, proved to be very tempting. Once they were lured away from home, their parents and loved ones never heard from their daughters or friends again. Life expectancy in the sexual slavery trade is very short, often less than five years.
Janet spent weeks following weak leads and, often times, mere rumors. She eventually landed in the coastal city of Varna which sported a slightly better economy than most of Bulgaria. Restaurants, bars and clubs were surviving. There was some tourism, but the harbor generated most of the business through imports and exports. A break in the case came from an unlikely source. An independent prostitute that Janet had spoken with briefly, a few days earlier, called her. Most threw the Interpol agent’s card away before she had moved more than ten steps away. English speaking Lady Gwendolyn hadn’t.
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