The Prosecution Service brought charges against seven perpetrators who forced their victims into prostitution in the UK between 2011 and 2017. The joint investigation team formed by the Hungarian and British Police played a key role in the detection of the crime.

Three members of a family coming from the village of Tarhos moved to London in 2011-2012, and began recruiting Hungarian women for sex work through the social media. They arranged the outward journey, the accommodation, and provided also mobile phone and daily meals. Two men and their female companion then took sexually explicit photographs of the victims in order to offer sexual services by posting advertisements on several websites.  Typically, the prostitutes could not be contacted directly, but the leaders of the criminal group employed three of their associates as “receptionists”, receiving the calls, making deals of the location, and the nature and tariff of the services. The victims had to hand over half of their income to their exploiters. The defendants amassed an illegal fortune of at least HUF 40 million from their activities over the course of 6 years.

The successful investigation is the result of the work of a JIT formed by the anti-trafficking units of the National Bureau of Investigation and of the Metropolitan Police in London. The transfer of evidence obtained by the British investigators to the Hungarian authorities took place much faster and more efficiently in the framework of Eurojust than through the traditional requests for bilateral judicial cooperation.

Due to their hopeless living conditions, 15 victims were in such a vulnerable position that they engaged in prostitution in the absence of any other choices, thus the felony of trafficking in human beings committed regularly for generating income in a criminal conspiracy could be established. In the case of further 11 victims, charges of procuring for prostitution and facilitating prostitution are brought against the perpetrators. 

In its indictment, the Békés County Chief Prosecutor’s Office is seeking – even in case of full confession – the imposition of executable penitentiary terms, as well as the confiscation of property against the three leaders of the criminal group and their associate who had played a role in renting the apartments. As requested in the motion, the receptionists shall be sentenced to suspended imprisonment as abettors.

Source (in Hungarian):