Bringing Light to the Darkness of Human Trafficking (Trafficking in Persons)

  • Four Romanian nationals have been jailed for a combined 13 years
  • Ringleader Aliona Pislaru was jailed for five years at Isleworth Crown Court
  • Janina Nuta, Vlad Harzoparu and Ilie Melinte got a combined eight years
  • They made £15,000 a month and made the girls deposit it in 14 accounts

A Romanian sex gang who trafficked women into the UK and used 105 different mobile phones to run a prostitution ring have been jailed

Aliona Pislaru, 39, Janina Nuta, 39, Vlad Harzoparu, 30, and Ilie Melinte, 34, were forcing their victims into sex work - by taking calls from customers on the huge web of phones.

Pislaru publicised sexual services on classified advertisement websites and arranged for the women she was exploiting and controlling to be delivered to their clients.

The gang raked in more than £15,000-per-month and forced the prostitutes to deposit the cash across 14 separate bank accounts, all controlled by ring-leader Pislaru.

aliona pislaru

janina nuta

Ringleader Aliona Pislaru (top) advertised sexual services on classified advertisement website, helped by Janina Nuta (bottom)

vlad harzoparu

ilie melinte

Two other accomplices Vlad Harzoparu (top) and Ilie Melinte (bottom) were jailed for three and two years respectively

Financial records indicated that very little of this cash was given to the girls.

To further disguise the activities of the group, Pislaru had registered a company and had even submitted accounts to HM Revenue and Customs.

But when police searched an address in Paddington, west London, they found Nuta in the living room sitting next to a table where 105 mobile telephones were ringing intermittently.

These phones were connected to the services supplied by the gang.

Also found was paperwork relating to the sale of sexual services, price lists and a chip and pin machine.

Romanian identity documents bearing a photograph of Harzoparu, but in the name of someone else were also recovered.

At another address in Marylebone, west London, police found Melinte monitoring the other address via CCTV. At the address with him were four women who worked as prostitutes.

When Melinte was arrested on suspicion of controlling prostitution, he claimed to be employed at the address as a cleaner.

isleworth crown court
The gang were jailed at Isleworth Crown Court after being found guilty of offences under the Modern Slavery Act

Pislaru was jailed for five years, Nuta and Harzoparu were jailed for three years, and Melinte for two years.

Detective Inspector Stephen Kiely, from the Met's Modern Slavery and Kidnap Unit, said: 'This investigation highlights the commitment to ending the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable people.

'The victims in this case were callously manipulated and exploited by this trafficking network. I hope that the sentences handed down today bring them a measure of closure and comfort as they go about rebuilding their lives.'

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