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Two traffickers jailed for exploiting Romanian women in the UK

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Two traffickers jailed for exploiting Romanian women in the UK

A husband and wife have been jailed at Southwark Crown Court after being convicted of numerous counts of human trafficking against Romanian women, who had been deceived into coming to the UK with the promise of work.

The traffickers had exploited ten women in total, aged between 18 and 37, who had been brought to the UK over a period of nine years. ​Victims were promised work in the UK but, once they arrived, found themselves forced into sexual exploitation. One survivor reported being made to see between 10 and 15 customers a night, as well as being raped by her trafficker. The traffickers controlled the women's earnings, as well as their freedom of movement.

IJM has supported the Met Police to build a case against the traffickers - as well as helping to provide practical support to survivors including counselling, social care, and housing. Thanks to several years of cooperation between UK and Romanian authorities, as well as the courageous testimony of survivors, this case has resulted in justice, with the traffickers sentenced to fifteen- and five-years imprisonment respectively.

Detective Constable Lore Hancock, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “I am a Romanian national who joined the Met as I always wanted to be part of the Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Unit. [..] I have been in regular contact with the victims of this case for over two years. Together, with the amazing help and support from International Justice Mission (NGO), we have managed to offer practical help and support, from counselling to social care, housing and even skills courses. It was very emotional hearing the relief in their voices when I told them the verdict.”

David Westlake, CEO of IJM UK, commented: "This case shows the brutal reality of trafficking in the UK - hidden in plain sight on our streets. The positive outcome of this case is an important moment of justice in the lives of these women, showing that perpetrators can and should be held accountable.

It's also a testament to the power of cross-border collaboration: thanks to a joined-up approach between UK and Romanian authorities, supported by IJM, justice has been done. However, there are still many trafficking victims who need protection and support, and many traffickers still operating with impunity: we must continue to strengthen this joined-up response so that all people are protected."




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