Supply and demand hit Norway sex trade

Weakening demand and an influx of hard up prostitutes from across Europe has impacted prices and job prospects for the increasingly idle sex workers plying their trade in Norway.

Supply and demand hit Norway sex trade
Photo: Harpreet Padam/stock.xchng (file)

Sex workers touting services from camper vans, hotel rooms and private flats are feeling the pinch and complain that there are too many women working in the Norwegian market.

“I have not worked in Norway long, but in the past week there have not been many customers,” said a 22-year-old French woman to the Dagbladet daily, adding, “The prices for sex services are being dumped and the market is very bad.”

The Norwegian sex market is described as “mobile” with the women of organized “escort agencies” roaming the length and breadth of the country in search of customers.

Despite the recent lull in the market, police say those selling sex still earn far more than they would in the economically depressed southern Europe.

“We noticed a distinct increase after the last financial crisis and several factors suggest we’re seeing the same pattern now,” said Harald Bøhler, leader of Oslo Police’s STOP Group combating sex trafficking and human smuggling.

A veteran Norwegian, who described herself as an "escort operating in the luxury market”, said “all the girls from abroad” have led to her contemplating dropping her rate. A Philippine woman meanwhile offered another explanation for the decline in customer numbers, claiming that police “were hunting” them.

With police methods starting to have effect, a Romanian woman said she was dropping the trade and taking Norwegian lessons.

“Maybe there’s a normal job out there,” she said.

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Four players charged over match-fixing

Four players in the Norwegian football league have been charged in connection with match-fixing allegations that plunged the national football association (NFF) into turmoil this week.

NFF reported its suspicions to the police on Monday amid reports that players may have teamed with organized criminals to rig results for betting reasons.

Three of the players charged are from third-tier team Follo, which reported suspicions of match-rigging to NFF after a second-half collapse in its game against Østsiden saw the team shed a 3-0 lead in a match that ended 4-3 to the opposition.

Large bets were made on the game shortly before kickoff on June 24th.

Police arrested and charged the first Follo player on Wednesday, before releasing him from custody a day later. A second player was arrested after police became suspicious during questioning.

On Friday, police apprehended two more players, one from Follo and one from Asker.

Asker had reported its 7-1 defeat to Frigg, also on June 24th, as suspicious.

Both players arrested on Friday are suspected of taking payment in return for attempts to rig the results of the matches in question.

On Sunday, the association axed a second-division game between Ullensaker/Kisa and Ham Kam on Sunday over fears of outside interference aimed at fixing the result.

“NFF and the clubs want to assist the police to the best of our ability, which also means we are unable to comment on specifics relating to the case in light of the investigation,” said NFF president Yngve Hallén in a statement on Sunday.