South East Wales

Man and woman jailed for trafficking two prostitutes

Ladislav Kurina and Angelika Bacan Image copyright CPS
Image caption Ladislav Kurina and Angelika Bacan put the women to work in a Cardiff Bay flat

A man and a woman have been jailed for trafficking two Czech women to Cardiff to work as prostitutes.

Ladislav Kurina, 29, a Czech citizen, was jailed for two years and seven months after he admitted four counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Co-defendant Angelika Bacan, 26, from Romania, was given a 15-month sentence for being a "willing accessory" while also working as a prostitute.

Judge Eleri Rees at Newport Crown Court said it was "a most repugnant crime".

Bacan was also charged with possession of an offensive weapon - a stun gun.

Both had previously pleaded guilty to arranging for two women, aged 25 and 26, to come to the UK from the Czech Republic to work in the sex industry.

'Destitute and desperate'

The court heard how the two trafficked women had come to the UK willingly but soon became aware that they would not be receiving half of their earnings as agreed with the couple.

Jeremy Jenkins, prosecuting, said that the women had been bought plane tickets to Luton airport from where Bacan picked them up to start work almost immediately.

He said: "There was a misunderstanding on the terms on which they'd agreed to work.

"Both found themselves financially destitute and desperate."

He added that "an element of control was subtly made" by the defendants.

The women were later taken to an address in Cardiff Bay where they operated as prostitutes, working with Bacan and Kurina, who kept their earnings.

He said: "After just a week in Cardiff they were financially destitute, seeing up to four clients a day and sometimes working seven days a week."

The women later contacted Safer Wales, an abuse charity based in Cardiff, which complained to the police on their behalf.

Judge Eleri Rees said the defendants had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and their sentences reflected that fact.

Both defendants will be released halfway through their sentence on licence, with a proceeds of crime act hearing due in the coming months.

'Destroys lives'

Nicola Rees, senior prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service's complex casework unit said the pair were guilty of "deplorable" offences.

She said: "Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and is totally unacceptable in a civilised society.

"Those who seek to demean the value of life by depriving others of the most basic of human rights should be in no doubt that we will do everything in our power to bring them to justice.

"We have strong local partnerships in place to help identify and prosecute cases where human trafficking is a factor and ensure that victims are given the support they need."

South Wales Police Det Insp Simon Maal said: "Human trafficking destroys lives. Its effects damage communities and it is something that we will not tolerate here in Cardiff.

"Thankfully these two victims are now back safe and well with their families.

"It is understandable that victims of trafficking are frightened and feel vulnerable but we hope highlighting the outcome of this investigation will encourage any other victims to seek help and contact police."

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