Gang tricked foreign teens into working as prostitutes
Members of a gang have been sentenced for their roles in a conspiracy to bring young Romanian women to Leicester to be forced to work as prostitutes.
Two women, aged 17 and 19, were lured to the UK with the promise of legitimate work, but were actually being lined up to have sex with men.
The four people responsible for the women's misery were arrested earlier this year after a member of the public tipped off police.
As a result, officers found the women at two addresses in Lyme Road, Evington, and New Park Road, Aylestone, in April.
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They established the 19-year-old had been working as a prostitute against her will. However, the 17-year-old had only been in the country for three days and had not yet been forced to have sex with a client.
Two other women were found in the properties.
The two ringleaders, Ionut Arosculescei, 20, and 36-year-old Madalin Petrescu, both of no fixed address, appeared at Leicester Crown Court on Monday to plead guilty to the offence of trafficking women into the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
Arosculescei was jailed for two years while Petrescu was sent to prison for 16 months.
Fellow gang members, 31-year-old Emiliu Hristu, of New Park Road and 36-year-old Balbinder Gill, of Welford Road, had earlier pleaded guilty to managing a brothel.
Hristu was sentenced to 20 months but has served this sentence on remand and Gill received a 10-month suspended sentence.
A member of the Leicestershire Police investigation team said the offences were rare in the city, but said officers were determined to rescue victims.
Detective Sergeant Stu Palmer said: "One of the victims was a 17-year-old Romanian girl who had been brought to the UK under the understanding she would be given legitimate work. When she arrived in the country she was forced into prostitution.
"Fortunately, offences such as this are not a regular occurrence in Leicester. However, just because these offences don't regularly occur in our city does not mean we are any less committed to tackling them and targeting offenders."
Detective Inspector Simon Preston, head of major crime for Leicestershire Police, said: "When you plan operations like this you do not know what you are going to find.
"As it turned out, we found the 17-year-old only days after she had been brought into the country and she never had to go through with the things they had in mind for her.
"Because of that we always thought that even if we don't get a positive result in court we would always be able to say we'd rescued her from that horrible lifestyle."