Bristol

On-the-run sex trafficker apprehended overseas

Vojtech Paloc Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Vojtech Paloc will now serve his sentence in the UK

A human trafficker who brought women from the Czech Republic to Bristol and forced them to work in the sex trade has been arrested overseas.

Vojtech Paloc, 40, failed to attend his trial in December but was convicted in his absence and jailed for nine-and-a-half years.

He was handed over to Avon and Somerset Police by Czech police on Friday to serve his sentence in the UK.

Det Con Haley Matthews said Paloc treated victims 'like commodities'.

A jury at Bristol Crown Court found him guilty of two counts of trafficking people into the UK for sexual exploitation, two counts of controlling prostitution for gain and one count of conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law relating to a sham marriage.

'Frightening'

He was convicted alongside Jiri Mizer, 33, of no fixed address, and Viera Sulcova, 39, from Gloucester, who were also jailed.

Det Con Matthews said: "[These were] appalling offences involving the exploitation of women who were trafficked and then forced to become sex workers in east Bristol.

"They were treated like commodities and one of the victims was told the only way she would be free would be to take part in a sham marriage.

"The control Paloc and his associates had over these women was frightening."

Police obtained a European Arrest Warrant and worked with the National Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Czech authorities, to track Paloc down.

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