October 23 2014 Latest news:
Laura Burnip, Senior reporter
Thursday, July 3, 2014
A sex trafficking gang for which an Ilford man acted as an “enforcer” have been jailed for 36 years after tricking and forcing women into prostitution.
Handing down his sentence yesterday at Croydon Crown Court, His Honour Judge Peter Gower said the gang’s victims had suffered “misery, degradation and humiliation”.
Hungarian national Krisztian Abel, 33, of Green Lane, Ilford, was jailed for 10 years.
Abel, who pleaded guilty to the charges in August last year, was handed 10 years for conspiracy to traffic persons into the UK, 10 years for conspiracy to traffic persons within the UK for sexual exploitation and six years for conspiracy to control prostitution, to run concurrently.
The court heard the gang trafficked more than a hundred women from Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland into the UK, where some were forced into prostitution and raped.
The other four gang members initially denied the charges but were found guilty following a trial in November, which lasted for five months.
Indian national Vishal Chaudhary, the ringleader of the group, 35 of Park View Gardens, NW4, was sentenced to 12 years for conspiracy to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation, 12 years for conspiracy to traffic within the UK and six years to control prostitituion for gain, to run concurrently.
Hungarian Attila Kovacs, 33, of Highview Gardens, N11 was sentenced to six years in prison for conspiracy to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation.
British Kunal Chaudhary, 32, of Fog Lane, Manchester, was sentenced to five years for conspiracy to control prostitution, three years for conspiracy to traffic persons into the UK and 18 montsh for concealing criminal property, to run concurrently.
And Szilvia Abel, 24, sister of Krisztian, from Budapest, was sentenced three years for conspiracy to control prostitution for gain and 18 months for conspiracy to traffic persons into the UK.
His Honour Judge Gower commended the investigation team for their work and said “these sentences reflect the misery, degradation and humiliation suffered by the victims.”
The court heard heard flights were booked for at least 120 women, while others picked the women up from Stansted airport and delivered them to brothels across London.
Some responded to adverts on websites, others applied online for what they believed were administrative, cleaning and babysitting jobs.
But instead they were forced or coerced into prostitution – being made to have sex with up to 20 men a day.
The gang controlled the women with threats of violence and intimidation, retaining their passports in order to exert further control over them.
The court heard Krisztian Abel acted as an enforcer, threatening and abusing women if they did not do as they were told.
In one case, he forced a victim in her 20s to carry out sex acts with clients which left her with serious injuries, as punishment after she discovered the address of the brothel where she was being held.
The gang managed the victims from a make-shift call centre at a residential address in Parkview Gardens, Brent Cross.
Vishal Chaudhary used pseudonyms and lived in a plush apartment block in Canary Wharf, driving a Mercedes convertible.
Det Sgt Alan Clark, of the Met Police trafficking and kidnap unit, said: “Many of the victims have been deeply traumatised by what this gang did to them, and displayed signs of severe distress when they told us what had happened to them. One victim’s graphic account actually brought the interpreter to tears.
“They came to the UK for regular employment, to earn money to make a better life for themselves and their families.
“Instead, they found themselves trapped and at the mercy of this abusive group.”
Police are appealing to anyone with information in relation to a stolen vehicle to come forward.