Her documents were left in Albania. Just a few years of prostitution and then they would have enough money to marry, her boyfriend had told her, but she has not seen him since the auction. But the auctions are moving to Italy, where about half of the estimated , prostitutes are foreigners. The business is unchallenged, since the Italian mafia melted away in the face of the Balkan onslaught. Virtually every week two-paragraph stories in Italian newspapers report the discovery of a streetwalker's corpse, often burned.
Some did not bother and just looked.
Beach Voyeur: Beautiful Balkan Girl
Colleagues in the Balkans oblige by rounding up women, not always against their will, and holding auctions, says Miriam Lani, who helps former prostitutes for the charity Caritas in Rome. Though she speaks good Italian, her pimp is virtually the only person she knows in Italy. It was, after all, an auction. Six months on Via Salaria, a motorway just north of Rome, has sharpened her memory of walking with her boyfriend to the outskirts of Tirana, the Albanian capital, to meet a contact. The business is unchallenged, since the Italian mafia melted away in the face of the Balkan onslaught.