Czech Gang Sentenced
A London court found a ten-member Czech trafficking gang guilty of luring women to the UK with the promise of legal work and then forcing them into prostitution, according to the Prague Post.
Two women headed the gang, Ludmila Nistorova and Iveta Viragova. Both are long-term residents of the UK and were sentenced to nine and 11 years in prison. The gang was made up of two Czech families. Both of the women’s sons were also sentenced.
According to the prosecutor, one Czech woman was forced into prostitution, raped by her pimp and another member of the gang at a brothel in Gloucester before being sold to another man for £1000.
"More than 50 girls were safely identified as victims of the gang. Sixty-five others are known only by their faces, from a catalog of girls seized from the computer of one of the perpetrators, but police failed to establish their identities," Regional State Attorney Radim Kadlček told Czech media.
The women were mainly in their early 20s and were looking to better their lives by working in the UK, but the promise of legal work manifested as forced prostitution and sham marriages to men from outside the EU so the men could legally stay in the country.
The London Metropolitan Police and the Czech Police Squad for Uncovering Organized Crime (UOOZ) arrested the gang members following investigations that had been going on for months.
The authorities acting on an anonymous tip that detailed the forced prostitution and sham marriages as well as credit card and bank fraud. Other gang members received sentences ranging from three and a half to seven and a half years in prison.