British and Czech Police cooperate to arrest suspected human traffickers
Czech Police have arrested and charged three citizens of the Czech Republic with human trafficking in Great Britain and with other felonies. The two men and one woman allegedly exploited socially vulnerable persons from the Most area.
The traffickers allegedly attracted their victims abroad with the promise of legal, well-paid work. After the immigrants arrived in Manchester, the accused allegedly confiscated their personal documents and used threats or violence to force them to perform various activities, including prostitution, according to a press release issued on 4 May by the spokesperson for the Czech National Headquarters against Organized Crime (NCOZ), Jaroslav Ibehej.
The trio have been remanded into custody and are suspected of having committed the felonies at a minimum between 2012 and 2017, according to detectives. They are alleged to have transported at least 15 people, four of them women, to Great Britain.
The trafficked men then allegedly had to perform different kinds of service jobs, for example, working in laundries or restaurants. The women were allegedly forced into street prostitution or into providing sexual services through websites that advertised them.
"None of the victims ever received the promised work permit and they received almost no money from the accused," Ibehej's press release states. The main organizer of the criminal activity, according to detectives, raped one of the exploited women repeatedly over the course of three months.
That suspect is also charged with bigamy because he got married several weeks ago in the Czech Republic, even though both he and the bride were previously married to different partners in Great Britain and apparently have not yet divorced them. Detectives have also charged a woman from the Czech Republic who has been living permanently in Great Britain with human trafficking.
Allegedly the woman facilitated sexual services, publishing advertisements for them online and then cashing payments for them. As part of the BRIDGE operation detectives from the NCOZ performed four searches of homes and other properties on Czech territory.
In Great Britain one house search related to the case was performed as part of an operation there called HELFORD. All three of the persons accused in the Republic were remanded into custody on 20 April 2018.
Staff members from Eurojust, Europol, the contact officer of the Police of the Czech Republic in Great Britain and the Regional State Prosecutor in Ústí nad Labem all actively contributed to the investigation. For the operation in the Czech Republic, local detectives were assisted by an officer in the UK's Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit.
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