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Tenants leave house owned by former Mayor of Redbridge's wife after police investigate brothel claims

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 April 2019

The house in Crown Road. Picture: Ken Mears

The house in Crown Road. Picture: Ken Mears

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A house owned by the wife of an ex-Mayor of Redbridge has been vacated after police received reports that occupants were running a brothel.

Cllr Gurdial Bhamra, whose wife Rekha is the official owner of the property. Picture: Ken MearsCllr Gurdial Bhamra, whose wife Rekha is the official owner of the property. Picture: Ken Mears

A house owned by the wife of an ex-Mayor of Redbridge has been vacated after police received reports that occupants were running a brothel.

The property in Crown Road, Barkingside has been owned by the family of Cllr Gurdial Bhamra for more than 20 years.

On February 15 this year police visited the two-storey, semi-detached house and the people living inside moved on shortly afterwards.

A Met Police spokesman said: “Following concerns raised by local residents about an address in Crown Road, Barkingside being used as a brothel, officers attended and spoke to the occupants. They were advised of potential steps that could be taken.

“The occupants have since vacated the property and there have been no further concerns raised.”

Classified ads online describe the property as offering 24/7 “incalls in Ilford” and “new girls everyday [sic]”.

One includes a link to a website offering “full personal services” for £99 an hour or £750 for the whole night.

Three sets of neighbours told the Recorder that in recent months a group of women in their early 20s had moved in.

One man, who has lived in the road since 1986, told the Recorder: “There was a lot of traffic in and out, and a lot of young ladies coming in as if they had just come from abroad. They wouldn’t speak to anybody.”

Another said: “First there were just a couple of girls, then Uber after Uber turned up; there must have been at least six of them at one time.

“They were very strange ladies because they were sleeping during the day and then up all night. You wouldn’t see them until at least five o’clock.”

He added that he and his wife had “put two and two together” and realised it was “potentially a brothel”.

A third said she had seen men in different vehicles, from vans to “nice cars”, arriving at the property, adding: “There was a different car every day.”

Cllr Bhamra, a former Metropolitan Police officer and Mayor of Redbridge for 2016, whose daughter Sunita Bhamra is also a councillor for Clayhall, and the family declined to comment.

They have owned the property – which does not have a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence – since December 5, 1994.

It is understood the house was rented out by an agent and may have been sub-let without their knowledge, and the family did not know a property they owned was being used in this way.

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