A sex-trafficking gang based in the U.K has been convicted of bringing women to the UK from eastern Europe. The group had forced these women into slavery and prostitution.
Women exploited and forced into prostitution
Vojtech Gombar,61, Anil Raj Wagle, 37, Jana Sandorova, 28, and Ratislav Adam, 31, had all denied that they trafficked women from Slovakia into Glasgow. However, they were found guilty of forcing women into prostitution and servitude between November 2011 and February 2017. Eight women were to be brought to Glasgow, where they kept in flats in the Govanhill area. Five of them were brought to wed Pakistani men in arranged marriages. The other three were forced into prostitution.
A woman gave evidence via videolink from Slovakia during the trial. She said she had been offered a well- paid job in England to pick potatoes. However, she arrived in Glasgow “afraid’ and was later sent to Ireland to marry a Pakistani man. She informed the police that Gombar, the ringleader, would receive 4,000 euros for the wedding. Another woman said that she was brought to the UK in the promise of a ‘better life’ when she was 4 or 5 months pregnant. She was handed over to a Nepalese man outside Primark in Argyle Street in 2014 for £10,000.
Gang members found guilty of multiple charges
The gang was found guilty of the following:
-Gombar- 13 charges involving eight women
Wagle – 4 charges, mainly involving one of the victims
– Sandorova, Gombar’s step-daughter – 6 charges involving two women
Adam, Sandorova’s partner- 7 charges involving three victims
Wagle, from Nepal, became involved with the gang initially as he wanted to buy a bride. The other three are Slovakian, from Trebisov, where most of the women were trafficked.
Prosecutor Kath Harper said that Gombar had exhibited a “clear, compelling and powerful pattern of behaviour in recruiting and exploiting women.” He had exploited the women by forcing them into marriage with strangers or into prostitution from which he and his associates benefitted.
A victim was forced to have sex with two or three men a day for at least eight months. Harper told the court that the women’s body becomes a vehicle for the members to gain money from. The police became aware of the trafficking in 2014. However, a three-year-long operation was required to capture them. Around 70 officers raided four flats before making the arrests. The gang is to be sentenced at a later date.