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Seven from Brent accused of trafficking women into the UK to work as prostitutes

PUBLISHED: 11:23 06 June 2016 | UPDATED: 11:23 06 June 2016

All are on trial at Southwark Crown Court

All are on trial at Southwark Crown Court

Archant

Seven people from Brent are on trial accused of being members of an internet organisation that trafficked Romanian women into the UK to work as prostitutes.

Southwark Crown Court heard claims Mihail Cuza, 39, Valentin Manea, 24, Cristina Manea, 23, Forentina Bucur, 21, and Mihai Dinu, 29, all of High Road, Harlesden, Valentin Cristea, 39, Mihai Gheorghe, 37, both of Kenton Road, Kenton helped the women into the country and took half of their earnings.

Jurors were told Manea and Bucur worked as prostitutes themselves while helping to run the operation.

Adrian Bejenaru, 27, and Gheorghe Rustum, 26, both from Harrow, are also accused of being involved.

The racket was eventually smashed after an undercover police officer posed as a punter booking girls on sex websites to ‘sample the product’, jurors heard.

Szilvia Booker, prosecuting, said: “This business was corporate - it generated a lot of money and that is what this is all about.

“It utilised the online marketing of sex websites and generated significant cash flow.”

Ms Booker told jurors that the women had come here to work as prostitutes in order to make ‘arguably a better living’.

She added: “We are not talking one little cottage industry, there were many, many brothels - a large number of women in a large number of houses.”

Ms Booker said the defendants would sometimes accompany the women on Easyjet or Wizz Air flights and their cars were seen near Luton Airport.

She told the court photographs of the women were sent to one of the members who would upload them to websites Adult Work and Viva Street which ‘offer a marketplace for the sale and supply of sexual services’.

All nine defendants deny a variety of sexual exploitation, trafficking and conspiracy to control prostitution offences.

The trial continues.

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