24 August 2009 Source B92
Belgrade – The owner of the night club Jet Set in Novi Pazar, Brankica Ružić, was sentenced, by a final and enforceable decision, to 8 years in prison for organizing prostitution and human trafficking.
Her partner Hasib Šećović was sentenced to 4 years and ten months in prison. To remind you, two years ago, the B92 crew visited this club and broadcasted a series of stories indicating that the girls in jet Set were kept locked and forced into prostitution.
In the Jet Set case, the Supreme Court of Serbia rendered one of the highest prison sentences. For sexual exploitation and the establishment of a slavery-like relation with 14 girls, Brankica Ružić, the organizer of this profitable business, was sentenced to the prison sentence of eight years.
“Victims who were exploited in this specific case are mostly from Vojvodina and were recruited to go from their towns to Novi Pazar, where they would work as waitresses, with a promise of social insurance. However, with different sorts of pressure, including physical abuse, they were coerced into providing sexual services to customers”, says Snežana Elez, the head of the Department for Combating Illegal Migrations and Human Trafficking of the Serbian Interior Ministry.
Two years ago, Branka Ružić, owner of the club, after several stories that had been broadcasted on B92, tried to convince the public that nothing unlawful was taking place in the night club Jet Set.
She even called an unusual press conference to show the girls who were working for her.
She forced them to take off their clothes in front of the cameras to show that they were not abused; she claimed that they did not provide sexual services, but that their health status was checked every couple of months.
Branka Ružić (broadcasted on 14 March 2007): “Every three months I have to send them to gynecological examination and I have to go to the police to register them”.
B92: “Why is it important if they are only “entertainment” ladies?”
Branka Ružić: “Well, it’s important for them, because they asked for AIDS test, and they did it themselves, I was not involved”.
Although B92 visited Novi Pazar several times and reported about what was going on in Jet Set, the then chief Muamer Nicević, who has been dismissed from the position in the meantime, claimed that there was no prostitution in his town.
Muamer Nicević (former chief of the Novi Pazar Police Department, broadcasted on 19 February 2007): “In Novi Pazar as the center, we do not have any club with musical or dancing performances”.
B92: “last night, I was in two striptease bars, where services were offered for EUR 30, i.e. EUR 50”.
Muamer Nicević: “I can assure you that no stage performance exists there. Only one worker works there at the moment”
B92: “I talked with four dancers.”
Muamer Nicević: “Four dancers, it’s impossible, unless they were imported for that occasion”.
However, it turned out that these four girls, whose identity we are protecting, were really forced to stay in Brankica’s house and admit customers.
They were slapped, and in the case of runaway attempt, tortured and beaten up. One of the rescued girls who used to work in Jet Set has passed a way in the meantime. A police officer from Sombor told us about her destiny.
Branka Ružić and her helpers are charged with her death too.