Sex trafficking gang leader who lived in Canary Wharf luxury faces jail
PUBLISHED: 12:51 02 July 2014 | UPDATED: 12:56 02 July 2014
A man who lived in luxury in Canary Wharf while his gang trafficked more than 100 women into the UK and forced them into prostitution is facing jail today.
Ringleader Vishal Chaudhary used pseudonyms, including Rahul Singh and Aresh Khan, to disguise his true identity.
Until days before his arrest he lived in a plush apartment block in Pan Peninsula Square and drove a Mercedes convertible.
The sentencing, which began yesterday, is expected to conclude today.
The gang controlled the victims with threats of violence and intimidation, threatening to harm or tell their families they were prostitutes and keeping their passports.
Some of the women had responded to online job adverts, applying for what they believed were administrative, cleaning and babysitting jobs.
But once in the UK, they were taken to brothels in Barnet, Camden, Waltham Forest, Haringey, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Brent, Westminster, Enfield, Hounslow, Islington and Kensington and Chelsea – with some forced to have sex with up to 20 men a day.
Croydon Crown Court heard Krisztian Abel, a Hungarian national, threatened and abused girls if they did not do as they were told.
In one case, he forced a victim in her 20s to carry out sex acts with clients which left her with serious injuries as punishment after she found out the address of the brothel where she was being held.
In August, Abel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation, conspiracy to traffic persons within the UK for sexual exploitation and conspiracy to control prostitution for gain.
The remaining gang members pleaded not guilty and were convicted following a five-month trial.
The 33-year-old, of Green Lane, Ilford, is appearing at Croydon Crown Court for sentencing after admitting acting as an enforcer, threatening and abusing the women, aged between 18 and 45, from Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland.
Vishal Chaudhary, 35, an Indian national of Park View Gardens, NW4, was found guilty of conspiracy to traffic persons into and within the UK for sexual exploitation and conspiracy to control prostitution for gain.
Attila Kovacs, 33, a Hungarian national of Highview Gardens, N11, was found guilty of conspiracy to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation.
Kunal Chaudhary, 32, a British national of Fog Lane, Manchester, was found guilty of conspiracy to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation, conspiracy to control prostitution and concealing criminal property.
Szilvia Abel, 24, a Hungarian national from Budapest was found guilty of conspiracy to traffic persons into and within the UK and conspiracy to control prostitution for gain.
The gang managed the victims from a make-shift call centre at a residential address in Parkview Gardens, Brent Cross, charging clients between £30 and £100 per hour.
Following an intelligence-led investigation, Chaudhary, Attila Kovacs and two others were arrested on January 30 last year by the Met’s trafficking and kidnap unit.
Abel was subsequently arrested on February 5 2013 and Kunal Chaudhary on April 5 2013.
A European Arrest Warrant was issued for Krisztian’s sister, Szilvia Abel, who was in Hungary.
The Met joined forced with Hungarian authorities, who traced and arrested her in Budapest.
She was then extradited to the UK.
Detective Sergeant Alan Clark, of the trafficking and kidnap unit, said: “Many of the victims have been deeply traumatised by what this gang did to them, and displayed signs of severe distress when they told us what had happened to them.
“One victim’s graphic account actually brought the interpreter to tears.
“They came to the UK for regular employment, to earn money to make a better life for themselves and their families.
“Instead, they found themselves trapped and at the mercy of this abusive group.”