Your friend has become a victim of human trafficking. Her 'hosts' know that her fear of immigration authorities may prevent her from seeking help. That fear makes it possible for them to continue selling women into sexual slavery. (And yes, that's exactly what it is. Your friend's passport will be taken, she will be raped, she won't be paid and she may never have the opportunity to contact the outside world again). But i promise you, if you contact the police, they will be far less concerned about the immigration status of two Russian women than they will be about potentially bringing down a human trafficking ring. Some jurisdictions even have specific amnesties which protect the victims of human trafficking in return for information about their traffickers. If your friend won't contact the police, you should call them yourself.
posted by embrangled at 6:02 PM on May 19
Link -via Boing Boing
Update: Newsweek's blog has an interview with one of the principals in the story. -Thanks, dontyoukeep!