Couple jailed after forcing 14-year-old girl into prostitution

12/05/2017

Three Romanian nationals have been sentenced after trafficking women and young girls into prostitution in the UK.

Romelia Radu, 32, Petre Niculescu, 39, and George Maracineanu, 47, deceived women into moving to the UK with the promise of work, before forcing them into prostitution with threats and blackmail.

One of their victims - who was 14 at the time and came from a poor family in Romania - was forced to have sex with up to 15 men a night by Niculescu and Radu with threats of violence to her and her family in Romania.

All three were sentenced at Kingston Crown Court today (May 12) after pleading guilty to trafficking and prostitution offences at an earlier hearing on 16 March.

Radu and Niculescu, who were a couple living in the UK and collecting money from a network of prostitutes, were each sentenced to a total of 14 years' imprisonment.

Maracineanu, who lived in Basildon, Essex, and drove people within the UK was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

Damaris Lakin, a prosecutor in the Crown Prosecution Service's London Complex Casework Unit, said: "All three suspects initially denied controlling these women and girls for prostitution.

"The bravery of these women in providing evidence and supporting this prosecution has helped stop a dangerous criminal network taking advantage of vulnerable young girls.

"This was a complex case involving a significant amount of international cooperation by an international joint investigation team, including the CPS, and a joint day of action in Ploiesti in Romania, and in the UK, leading to arrests.

"The CPS is committed to continuing to work together with police and other authorities both in the UK and abroad to stamp out trafficking, slavery and exploitation and bring the perpetrators to justice."

Notes:

  • Radu and Niculescu jointly admitted five counts of conspiracy to traffic persons into and within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation, dating between January 2013 and November 2016, conspiracy to control prostitution for gain, and two counts relating to child prostitution.
  • Maracineanu admitted four counts of conspiracy to traffic persons within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and one count of conspiracy to cause prostitution for gain.