Two men who controlled the life of a prostitute after she came to the UK from Romania, have been jailed.
Daniel Purea, 33 (9.09.84) and Stephan Balog, 22 (24.12.95) both of Knaresborough Place, Kensington, were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday, 21 December, after they were convicted of controlling prostitution following a two-week trial.
Purea, who was also found guilty of human trafficking by arranging and facilitating the travel of another person with a view to sexual exploitation, contrary to the Modern Slavery Act 2015, was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment.
Balog, who was also found guilty of transferring criminal property contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act, was sentenced to four years' imprisonment.
Officers from the Met’s Modern Slavery and Kidnap Unit raided an address in Kensington on Thursday, 6 July after receiving information that a 19-year-old woman was being controlled as a prostitute.
Detectives were alerted to the victim’s situation after she sent messages to her mother in Romania describing her situation and suffering. A number of ledgers were found, including details of clients, fees and payments. Purea and Balog were arrested at the scene and the woman was taken to a place of safety.
The woman told police that she had arrived in the UK after Purea had organised a passport and paid for her travel to the UK. He arranged for a set of glamour photos to be taken and he advertised her on London escort websites for which he told her she owed him a £2,000 debt.
Despite the fact she had repaid this debt “many times over”, all of the money she earned was taken by Purea.
Detective Inspector Brian Hobbs, of the Met’s Modern Slavery and Kidnap Unit, said: “This vulnerable woman was trafficked to the UK from Romania; then these two men controlled and exploited her. She was not allowed to sleep at night in case a client called, and had to surrender all her earnings to Purea.
“Due to effective working partnerships with Romanian Authorities and the NCA, Met officers acted swiftly to safeguard the victim and arrest the two defendants. This case demonstrates our commitment to prosecuting those responsible for human trafficking and modern slavery offences.”