Gang who trafficked women for sham marriages are convicted

18/08/2015

A gang who trafficked vulnerable Slovakian women into the UK to sell them into sham marriages have today been found guilty at the Central Criminal Court.

Roman Ziga, 26, his brother Jozef Ziga, 28, and Igor Boros, 43, all Slovak nationals of Kosice, Slovakia, were found guilty of, between them, recruiting four women in their home country. Roman Ziga was found not guilty of involvement in trafficking and immigration offences in relation to one of the victims.

Three other gang members based in the UK - Tibor Suchy, 29, Rene Sana, 31, and Viktoria Sanova, 29, - were previously convicted of trafficking one of the women. They pleaded guilty to trafficking the other three victims at the outset of this 13-week long trial. A date for sentencing is to be set. The Zigas, Boros and Suchy have all been remanded in custody. Sana and Sanova were released on bail.

The four victims in the case were all vulnerable Slovak women - many from poverty-stricken backgrounds. All had been brought over to the UK from Slovakia (an EU member state) by the organised criminal network in order to marry Indian or Pakistani men, thus providing the men with the means to remain in the UK. Some of the women believed they had been brought to the country for legitimate work.

Damaris Lakin, CPS London reviewing lawyer, said: "I would like to thank the victims in this case for coming forward and supporting the prosecution, their courage has helped bring these defendants to justice. I would also like to thank the Slovak authorities and Eurojust. This case demonstrates the success of strong joint working between CPS London, the Metropolitan Police and authorities overseas. We will continue to work together with the police and other authorities to stamp out trafficking and exploitation and bring perpetrators to justice."

Investigating officer Detective Constable Keith McCormack, of the Met's Trafficking and Kidnap Unit (TKU), said: "The victims in this case were all vulnerable women, living in desperate conditions in Slovakia, whose circumstances ensured they could be easily exploited.

"Once in the UK, their ID documents were taken from them and, not knowing any English, they were trapped and unable to seek assistance. The traffickers treated these women like pieces of meat and planned to sell them for cash to men from non-EU countries. One of the victims was raped by the man she was sold to, and he was jailed for this.

"This case demonstrates the dedication of the Met's Trafficking and Kidnap Unit to bring traffickers to justice. By working in conjunction with our colleagues in the Slovak Police, a network of dangerous individuals have been brought to justice, ensuring that they cannot carry on ruining the lives of more desperate women."

After Suchy, Sanova and Sana were convicted of trafficking and immigration offences in December 2013, TKU detectives set out to complete the investigation into the organised crime group, identifying the three further victims who had been trafficked into the UK. All three women had suffered a similar experience to the first victim, being 'recruited' in the town of Kosice in Slovakia by the Ziga brothers and brought to England by Boros. Suchy, Sana and Sanova were all rearrested in relation to their roles. Boros was arrested on 10 March 2014 at Luton Airport, having got off a flight from Slovakia. Roman Ziga was arrested in Slovakia with the assistance of the Slovak Police on 20 March 2014 and was extradited to the UK on 11 April 2014. Ziga was arrested in Slovakia, also with the help of the Slovak Police, on 19 March 2014 and extradited to the UK on 16 May 2014. They were subsequently charged and remanded in custody.

This is  a joint press release between CPS London and the Metropolitan Police Service