A total of 12 people were convicted for human trafficking offences in the past year, police said on Wednesday, while a further 33 cases are currently before the courts.

Since last July to date, seven cases have ended in convictions related to human trafficking cases, in which eight people have sentenced to multiple years in prison.

Moreover, two other people were given suspended prison sentences for the same cases, while two others were fined.

Five of the seven convictions involved cases with the ultimate purpose of sexual exploitation, while the other two were linked to labour exploitation and forced begging.

From 2015 to 2021, a total of 231 victims of human trafficking were identified in Cyprus, out of 1,122 suspected cases.

The most recent conviction related case took place on Tuesday, when a 70-year-old man was sentenced to ten years in prison for systematically raping a foreign worker he employed to work in his fields.

The Larnaca-Famagusta criminal court sentenced the man for the crimes which took place between 2017 and 2019 after he was found guilty on charges of rape, sexual exploitation and indecent assault.

The court found that he had also assaulted another foreign woman whom he attempted to rape. The crimes took place in his fields.

The case with the second longest sentence saw a 52-year-old jailed for eight years after being convicted of trafficking with the aim of sexual exploitation.

At the moment, 33 more human trafficking cases are currently pending in courts in the country.

People with potentially useful information related to human trafficking can call the hotline at 1497, where citizens can provide anonymous information on possible human trafficking cases.