Pair sentenced for human trafficking offences

27/01/2014

Two people who admitted trafficking two women into Wales for the purposes of prostitution have been sentenced at Newport Crown Court.

At an earlier hearing, Angelica Bacan and Ladislav Kurina each pleaded guilty to two counts of intentionally arranging or facilitating entry into the UK of a person with a view to their sexual exploitation and two counts of arranging travel within the UK of a person with a view to their sexual exploitation. Kurina also pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon. At today's hearing, Bacan was jailed for 15 months and Kurina for two years and seven months.

The pair admitted facilitating the arrival of two Czech women into the UK in September 2013. The women were transported to various addresses in the south east of England, before being brought to a flat in Cardiff. Over time their living conditions deteriorated, with Bacan and Kurina demanding more and more money from them.

Eventually, they were able to seek support from Safer Wales, a charity which offers support to victims of abuse, ultimately leading to the involvement of South Wales Police.

Nicola Rees, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Wales Complex Casework Unit, said:

"The defendants are guilty of deplorable offences, seeking to profit from the misery and sexual exploitation of their vulnerable victims.

"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. We will continue to work closely with our partners in the criminal justice system to make sure these crimes are prosecuted robustly."

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Simon Maal, from South Wales Police, 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.

"We work very closely with partner agencies such as Safer Wales, the Crown Prosecution Service and, in this case the local charity BAWSO to provide victims with all the support they need.

"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."

Kim-Ann Williamson of the Crown Prosecution Service Wales is also Chair of South Wales Anti Human Trafficking Group. She added: "Human Trafficking is very real. It's happening in our communities and on our doorstep. This case highlighted the effectiveness of local people working closely together to help victims. We will continue to strive to make Wales hostile to human trafficking and bring offenders to justice."

Anyone who has concerns in relation to human trafficking can contact South Wales Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.