The Hague, 3 July 2014
Five people were sentenced to a total of 36 years’ imprisonment for involvement in a UK/Hungarian sex trafficking organised crime group. The trial, lasting five months, was the longest ever held for a human trafficking case in the UK, and was prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service following investigation by the Metropolitan Police.
At least 120 women, ranging in age from 18 to 45, were recruited in Hungary and trafficked to the greater London area with the promise of legitimate work as babysitters, cleaners and office workers. Upon arrival, their passports were seized by gang members. The women were forced into prostitution using threats or actual acts of violence against them.
A joint investigation team (JIT) between Hungarian and UK authorities, facilitated and partially funded by Eurojust, was one of the decisive factors in the successful apprehension of one of the suspects in Hungary, who was extradited to the UK after issuance of a European Arrest Warrant.
Hungarian police authorities played a critical role, supporting the work of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Trafficking and Kidnap Unit by identifying and tracing victims who had been able to return to Hungary. Europol attended a coordination meeting held at Eurojust and the Europol UK and Hungarian Liaison Bureaux also assisted in the case.
Amongst the charges for which the gang was found guilty were conspiracy to traffic persons into and within the UK for sexual exploitation, conspiracy to control prostitution for gain, and concealing criminal property.
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