THREE suspects pleaded guilty while nine were convicted following a trial in Romania last week, the Metropolitan Police said on Thursday. The organised gang lured the women, including a girl aged 16, to the UK with the promise of work as carers or secretaries but they were instead forced to work in brothels across east London and ordered to pay off their travelling „debt”. More than 115 flight bookings from Romania to the UK were discovered by police investigating the trafficking, which was linked to one organised gang in Romania.
Officers were able to track down two of the women who gave statements which led to the convictions. The head of the gang – 34-year-old Constantin Doicaru – used a club he had bought in Romania to recruit vulnerable women. He was jailed for 13 years. The investigation, which was launched in 2012, is the first ever between Romanian police and the Met’s Trafficking and Prostitution Unit. Five women were among the 12 who were jailed in Romania for human trafficking, money laundering and being part of an organised crime group.
The sentences ranged from four years to 13 years. Detective Constable Kieran Backhouse, of the Metropolitan Police, said: „The joint investigation team has been very successful and has meant the complete dismantling of an organised criminal group operating in two EU states to exploit vulnerable females for personal financial gain.” He said the sentences handed down reflected the severity of the offending. „Victims may feel they are in a desperate, hopeless situation but we are working tirelessly to stamp out human trafficking and prostitution with the help of other authorities, both here and abroad.”