Girl Kept as Sex Slave in Ealing Flat

52 years in jail for human trafficking gang

An Ealing flat was just one of the many addresses used by a network of pimps to traffic and then prostitute a 16 year-old virgin Slovakian girl, a court has heard.

The victim called police to report that a man called Valmir Gjatia had attacked her. The Met's Human Trafficking Team took on the investigation when she told police that she had been trafficked into the UK from her home country of Slovakia in September 2006 when she was 16 years old.

Police identified Eduard Facuna as the man responsible for recruiting her in Slovakia promising bar work in the UK. Facuna together with another man, Roman Pacan, bought her to Peterborough where she was sold to two unidentified men and a man called Martin Doci, all Albanian.

They took her back to a house where she was raped by one
of the unidentified men. She was then imprisoned for several days before being taken to a flat in Ealing where she was forced to work as a prostitute.

She was then moved to Peterborough where she was forced to sleep with five to six customers a day and where despite being paid £200-£300 per day from the men she was only allowed to keep approximately £20.

Again she was moved, this time to Mellows Sauna in Luton where Doci first acted as her pimp, eventually selling her to Ali Aslan for £2,500. They continued to take her "earnings" from her.

On a shopping trip out in Luton she was abducted by one of the unidentified men who originally
bought her in Peterborough. She was put in a car and taken back to the Ealing flat. Here she
was beaten regularly and further forced to work as a prostitute in various London locations.

At one of the brothels she confided in another of the girls there who gave her details of her
flat in Wood Green, offering her a way to escape. She managed to make her way there but once here she was introduced to other men who again put her to work as a prostitute.

It was here that she ended up working in brothels owned or connected to Gjatja. He assaulted
her with a knife - cutting her along her back, threatened her with a handgun, forced her to
take cocaine and took her "work" money from her.

She managed to run away in January 2008 and stay at a friend's flat however after a few days
Gjatja tracked her down and forced his way into the flat, knocking her head against the wall
and kicking her in the ribs. She collapsed unconscious, however her friend had managed to call
the police. Gjatja had left when they arrived but a police investigation then began.

A month earlier another linked network had been identified by the Met. This time a 22 year old Lithuanian victim told police about the men running a series of "trafficker friendly" brothels.

She arrived in the UK in February 2005 after being bought a ticket by a man who knew she needed to earn some money and promised her work in a warehouse. At the time she was four weeks pregnant and had a six-month old child still in Lithuania.

She was picked up from a London airport by a Lithuanian and a Russian man and raped by one of them, at this point she realised she was being sold into prostitution. She was threatened that
if she didn't comply she wouldn't see her child again.

She was then bought for £4,000, and further raped and assaulted by the pimp. Whilst being forced to work at a brothel run by the gang in Cricketfield Road, Clapton, London E5 in April 2006 she escaped and went to Ealing police station. After giving an account of what had happened to her she asked to return to Lithuania, which she subsequently did.

Police investigations established that the brothel then moved from London to Luton. Their current brothel was being operated under the name of Mellows Sauna from New Bedford Road, Luton. In one night alone more than 50 men visited the sauna.

Police identified two men as controlling the brothel. They were Ali Arslan who was the owner and Mesut Arslan who managed it.

On 13 December 2007 police from the Met and Bedfordshire Constabulary raided the brothel and
arrested both men. Thirteen women of various Eastern European origins were in the brothel at
the time of the raid but none accepted offers of assistance from the police.

DCI John Kielty, from Operation Maxim said, "Today's convictions are a really great result for the Met's Human Trafficking Team and more importantly for the victims. These men not only abused, in some cases physically, these two women but also demonstrated how they were prepared to cynically exploit the vulnerable for profit by trafficking them into prostitution.

"It is all the more shocking given the age of one of the victims. They have showed no remorse
for their actions and have forced the victims to stand up and recount these painful memories in
order for justice to be done."

Police arrested the defendants on various dates between Dec 2007 and May 2008. The two cases were joined up by police and prosecution and put before Southwark Crown Court.

Ali Arslan, a Turkish national and naturalised British citizen pleaded guilty on 22nd of September to two counts of controlling a brothel. He was given nine years for trafficking within the United Kingdom for sexual exploitation, to be served consecutively with five years for controlling prostitution for gain; five years for controlling a child prostitute; four years for the first count of controlling a brothel for the use of prostitution; four years for the second count of controlling a brothel for the use of prostitution, leading to total imprisonment of 14 years.

Eduard Facuna, a Slovakian national, was found guilty of trafficking into the UK. He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment.

Roman Pacan, a Czech Republic national, was found guilty of trafficking into the UK for sexual exploitation. He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment.

Martin Doci, a Kosovon national, was found guilty and sentenced to 11 years for trafficking within the UK and five years, to be served concurrently, for controlling a child prostitute.

Mesut Arslan, a Turkish national was found guilty on 3.11.08 and sentenced to two and a half years for controlling a child prostitute, and 15 months, to be served
concurrently, for controlling a brothel for the use of prostitution.

Valmir Gjatja, an Albanian national was found guilty and sentenced on 4.11.08 to three years for controlling a prostitute for gain. Charges of unlawful wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm will lie on file.

November 6, 2008