Name and Shame – Press Power

Greetings from The Slave Detective,

Every day I receive notifications of press coverage of human trafficking stories.

I have been involved in some of them and rarely recognise the story!

I also lecture to young journalists training at The Press Association and have done for a few years.

This interesting article passed over my desk today from “Inside Nova” an American Publication.

What initially caught my eye was a Tag Line “Prince William Fugitive of the week.” I thought perhaps our Royal Family member had stepped out of line again? It turned out to be The District of Prince William in the USA, most wanted poster!

Then  I noted the naming and shaming of seven males who had groomed young girls on line.

name and shame

While it is to be applauded that the local newspaper is happy to name and shame these persons, who knows why they were grooming this girls, but I note they have also published their home addresses.

I would be interested to find out what the effect this has and if it is encouraging vigilante type attacks on these persons.

I hope the Police ‘Sting’ curtails the activities of others seeking to emulate these ‘Gentlemen’ and I know other Police agencies carry out similar operations and applaud them.

Is this a good use of the power of the press?

You decide. I know that we must protect our children!


Deadly Game

Greetings from The Slave Detective,

I recently received a request from Matt Johnson, a retired Police Officer turned author, to assist him with his latest book, Deadly Game.

I’d never served with Matt or met him but he was writing a novel with Human Trafficking as the thread to his piece.

After reading his first novel ‘Wicked Games’ I was happy to assist as he has an engaging style.

Wicked games

Matt retired from The Police and wrote ‘Wicked Games’ from notes made during his treatment for Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD).

I have read a draft of his latest book and offered my opinion (I’m cheap!) and Matt kindly let me read his revised edit. I have to say Matt has in my opinion, grasped the plight of the victim and the novel ( a work of fiction) has plot lines that I recognise as real life issues when I have dealt with these investigations.

Read a taster of it below and have a look on Matts page.


Anca Valcea huddled against the stone garden wall for shelter.

Winter was around the corner. The east wind was beginning to turn cold. Soon, she would need to take a chance and wait inside the house for the factory bus to arrive. In a few short weeks the winds from the east would bring snow and it would be certain death to wait in the street for the six o’clock pick-up.

Soon, her father would be demanding she leave the job at the factory and join her brother gathering wood to fuel the stove.

Soon… soon, she would find a new life.

For now, Anca contented herself with wrapping her mother’s woollen coat tight around her slim figure, lifting the collar and making herself as small and as tight as possible.

The wall provided the only protection from where she could see the approach of the bus. Miss the bus, no ride. Miss the ride, no job. Miss the job, go hungry.

Mat has not asked me to advertise his work but I believe his work brings to note the plight of victims, the intricacies of Human Trafficking investigations and the hurdles Police have to overcome to get the right result for a survivor of trafficking.

The Girls Love it!

Greetings from The Slave Detective,

Firstly I wasnt to thank every one of the 20,000 readers that have visited this page.

There is a regular steam which says to me that people still have a strong interest in this subject.


I have been reading several papers on different aspects of Human Trafficking and how does prostitution fit within that.

What does legalization of prostitution mean?

In the Netherlands, legalization amounts to socially and legally sanctioning all aspects of the sex industry: the women themselves, the buyers, and the pimps who are transformed into third-party businessmen and legitimate sexual exploitation businessmen.

Legalization of the sex industry converts brothels, sex clubs, massage parlors and other sites of prostitution into legitimate venues where commercial sex acts flourish take place with few legal restraints.

Some people believe that legalizing prostitution would offer dignity and professionalism to women in prostitution. But legitimizing prostitution by legalizing it does not change the actual experience of prostitution nor does it dignify prostituted women who still experience stigma and other harms in legal prostitution.

Once prostitution is legalized, pimps become legitimate businessmen, and the predatory purchase of another person for sex is now a legitimate business transaction.

Women in prostitution should not be punished for their own exploitation.

Should the seller of sex should be decriminalised, as in the Swedish Law on Prostitution?

Others would have us go further and decriminalize pimps, buyers, procurers, brothels or other sex businesses.

I then returned to one of the cases I was heavily involved in on the Human Trafficking Team.

I’ve spoken about it before but regularly return to this victims account to remind myself just what sort of heart ache and trauma a women goes through when she enters this profession.

This is the story of Julianna’s ordeal in her own words.

The names of victims have been changed

It all happened so quickly. After I replied to the advert Betty contacted me straight away and talked me through it. Before I knew it she’d bought the plane ticket and that was that.

I knew when I came what it was all about; that it was erotic work to give sexual services to men, and I thought I’d be able to do it. But I had no idea what it would be like. I had never done this sort of work before, and Betty knew that when she persuaded me to come to the UK.

I thought it would enable me to fulfil my dreams and that I would be able to cope. I was wrong.

Tuesday, 13 April 2009, London

Well now! I am here. I don’t really know what to say. The three weeks will pass. I don’t care how it will be. I won’t be nervous and I won’t be afraid. I WILL NOT BACK OUT!! And I won’t be afraid of the fact that things are going the way I have decided they will go. I do this for my freedom.

According to Seneca, freedom is not when you do what you want. Freedom is when you don’t do things you don’t want. And he is right. I do this to achieve my dreams, not for the money. Even so, the money leads to my dreams.

I lived in respectable poverty, and it was not unbearable. But it deprived me of a lot of things. I am not prepared to tolerate it any more! I want these things! I want to fight for my dreams and I have no choice in the weapons.

I have just remembered the girls back home. My lies to them about what I am doing are tearing my heart apart. If they are really my friends they will stay with me no matter what, but I am afraid it will change what they think of me. If only they knew that I am the same person they love, honestly I am. This is not affecting me, and my personality is untouched. Agi knows, I told her and I have noticed that she looks at me differently. Even so, she told me that she is proud of me and there for me. She is not proud of me because she has a whore for a friend. “What an achievement!” No, she is proud of me because I am so determined and I make this SACRIFICE for my dreams.

Wednesday, 15 April

To write, or not to write … I had my first guest. I cannot put my feelings into words. I only know that I am hurting. And I am feeling sick. Now, immediately, I would get on the first plane to go home. I would forget the whole thing. Just one bad dream…

When the phone starts ringing it means the client is coming. I am ageing fast with these minutes and my hair is turning grey. I hate men more as every minute passes. When God created man he wasn’t concentrating on it properly. I bet 95 per cent of the male population of London goes out with whores. And they are so sick! Unbelievable!

I have to say my first guy was quite nice, not an Adonis but he told me what I was doing wrong, how I was putting on the condom. Maybe it didn’t help that my hands were shaking and swinging around. But I am not shaking any more and I am not nervous. It would be better for me if they would come one after the other. Then I would not think about things and I would not write so much. I would be asleep while they were on top of me. At the moment let’s leave it this way, that I am the Pretty Woman! Richard Gere hasn’t arrived yet. I am really tired. I should sleep while I have time.

Everything will be OK, and when I go home I will buy my motorbike and I will take my driving test. I can pay for my education as well. But no matter how badly I am trying to explain this to myself it doesn’t make me feel any better, and I do not feel it was worth it.

Thursday, 16 April

The clients are coming and going. I am totally drunk all the time. I don’t eat, but drink, yes! Let me introduce you to my new best friends: Ouzo, Rosé (or any wine), Palinka, Vodka. I can’t sleep. I cry every morning like someone fearing they would be beaten up. It has become so usual now I don’t even notice it. I really miss Mum, Dad and Nan. I cry and beg for them every morning.

My stomach is not upset any more about the next client’s arrival, I just don’t want to do it, but this is not about what I want. I am afraid of the weekend. They say it is like a Russian invasion. I had my first shared client with Rami, it lasted for an hour. The one before him lasted for half an hour. I struggled to kick him out. He wanted me so badly that he did not want to understand that I had another client waiting for me. We managed to get rid of him, thank God.

I like to work with Rami. We can help each other and it is much better because it takes some weight off me. She is 19 like me; she started this when she was 16 and left school early. She says she doesn’t like facing the man so he can’t see her crying while she is having sex.

I wonder what will happen to her in 10 years’ time but really it’s not my problem.

I have to try to enjoy it otherwise it is unbelievably painful. I do not need to explain how bad that feels! This room always smells of men, you can’t get rid of the smell. You can’t possibly imagine the way I feel now; my tears are falling. I try not to cry, but it hurts too much. All I want is to go home.

Friday, 17 April

HANDCUFFS???!!! You should have seen my face when Betty told me. She wanted to put a pink one on me. I refused but they did not care, they said I looked cute to them. Oh, I think I will throw up. I can only laugh about it all in my agony. I can feel my brain functions slowly stopping. Maybe my IQ will drop back down to a plant’s level. It would do me a favour because in these kinds of situations it is a burden if you are an intelligent women like I am.

A pink dolly and a secretary outfit. I will not add anything to this so you can laugh.

They give me a role of the dominator. This is it! This is how I will earn my money; by beating these bastards up. So God still exists.

This is my new world: the accoutrements of sex and stilettos with 30cm glass heels. I cannot even stand in them, let alone walk. Luckily (!) they have assured me that I only had to lie down in them. Isn’t it great!

Yesterday, my eyes were red raw from crying and I was shaking. There was a porn king here. I don’t really want to write about it. Then a horrible man came for half an hour. I told him I did not want to do the sort of sex he wanted. I told him it was painful but he did not want to listen. My tears were falling as I was lying there. Then he left. Betty [Andrea Novak] was preaching to me for an hour, then I went to sleep. I fell asleep like a clock when you take the batteries out. Since I have been here I have lost 12lbs in three days.

Betty just nicked my whole wages off me, £420. I had £40 left but I need that for my plane ticket back so I have nothing.

Poor Natalia, they make out that she is evil and she is not. They don’t let her out; they don’t let her go home; they don’t even pay her. She is a nice girl and these bitches are maltreating her because their souls are rotten. They would kill their own mother not for £20 but for 20 pence. Natalia is 27 years old and has two children. Betty only has to click her fingers and spits chewing gum into her hand to throw it. I can’t imagine that there are any others in this world like these revolting human beings.

Saturday, 18 April

Betty is basically a pimp, my pimp among others. She is really cross with me because I am not crying any more, I can sleep well and in general I pull myself together. She accused me of taking Xanax [tablets] and I can’t prove her wrong. Well, I presume it is suspicious that simply my willpower was enough. I am happy because I know there are only two weeks and two days to go and I will be at home.

Sunday, 19 April

The first guest of the day departed. He had an extraordinary sexual appetite, and what he did made me nauseous and want to vomit. Yuck, it’s gross. These fucking customers bidding down on the prices, they want us for free. This is not a charity!

Natalia has just said that she will escape tonight and asked me to go with her. I haven’t achieved my goals yet. No matter what happens I cannot give up now halfway to the finish line.

We are trying to convince ourselves that this is not a prison, but of course it is. I am still such a child, and I will remain one, no matter what I do. This world is so contemptible. And this place is filthy. What we do is filthy. Life means two weeks now. Two more weeks in this Hell.

Girls! You, who plump for this, DON’T DO IT! Money, success, riches… illusions! You are greedy and blind. You may have to be born to do it, I don’t really know. But what I know is that to sell one’s body is the lowest form of existence. The comfort of money only gives an illusion of happiness for a little while.

Monday, 20 April

When you are trying to calculate how many men you have sex with, the result is irrational, scary and a waste of time anyway. I could describe it as something like trying to add up how many times you breathe in your life. The best thing is not to remember. No matter how powerful your memories are.

I went into Rami’s room at 11 o’clock to wake her up and I could see her sniffing lines of powder up from a CD case using a pink straw. I think I will get something like this. Betty took Rami’s phone yesterday. She said that we are working behind her back; of course it wasn’t true.

Natalia opened the door on me a minute ago, and I nearly swallowed my notebook. I should not write. I am afraid to write. I have to hide my notes all the time, because if they found it, they would cut my throat and stuff me into the cupboard next to the vacuum cleaner. Natalia reassured me that they would not keep my body here, because of the guests, but they would dump it into the Thames. We had a good laugh, but this is not a game. I couldn’t imagine this world, but now I am in it, breathing its heavy air. And it is different. Every move I make now I betray myself, it is not me any more, it is not what I would usually do. It is the action of another person. A whore.

Please God, not any more of them today … I would really like to have a rest now. I am hurting inside. I mean my womb, all my female organs. I don’t really understand how the girls put up with it …

I wake up to the sound of the seagulls every morning. I look out of my window and I can see them flying above the houses. This is the first time I have seen a real-life seagull in the wild flying around. At least that’s something.

Tuesday, 21 April

It is 9 o’clock at night and I am organising the escape. A good friend of mine in Hungary has a twin – Krisztina – who lives in Bristol. She’s been there for four years and she said before I came out that if there was any need for help then I should contact her. When I rang her up I said, that’s it, we have to get us all out.

Originally Betty and her boyfriend were living in the house with us, but I pretended to be a very good girl and soon they left Rami in charge. They still kept a very tight rein, but when Rami decided to go home, there was no alternative but to give me the key to the house because they thought they’d got to know me and that I was settled.

Rami assured me that they would not leave my pictures on the internet after I left and she said they won’t look for me at home because they are not powerful enough to do so. Betty hasn’t got any clearance in the country and the internet site where my pictures were can only be seen from London. They won’t look for me at the airport or the embassy either. Betty got into trouble back home so she cannot go back.

We have agreed that we are going to take the telly – we can’t possibly leave it here. Anyway, they have bought everything out of our wages. We will empty the house nicely so we can sell it and get some money for it.

In a few months’ time, we will sit down together and laugh at the whole thing. I am not nervous about this, all three of us are going to escape tonight. I can’t wait to sit on the plane home. I hope my friends can come and pick us up by car because we can’t take the telly otherwise. I was thinking about taking the fridge as well, really we need a van to take the whole house. I am sure that the microwave is coming. I made about £1,000 for them… out of that amount I only received £300.

Wednesday, 22 April

Krisztina rang me and she said she could pick us up by car at 9am. It felt like winning the jackpot. I could feel something wasn’t right and there is something wrong with this, no matter how hard I tried to look at things logically. Rami was packing, Natalia was very nervous and I was shaking.

I was expecting a van but it was a sports car, though we managed to put a three-bedroom flat in there. It was very exciting – freedom was just an arm’s length away. I still wasn’t sure about my decision. But no, my senses are right, this wasn’t normal.

I was troubled because of the money, I was disappointed that I am free but poor and miles away from getting my motorbike.

I felt broken and ill. While I was among the girls, things like this were considered normal, it wasn’t a problem that I was doing that kind of thing, we were all the same. We stopped at  Asda to get some shopping. As we were walking up and down the aisles I could feel that people were looking at me because everyone knew that I was just a whore. I wasn’t dressed like one. I looked like just any other ordinary girl, but still this feeling was torturing me.

I cried a little on the way to Bristol, I had no power over my tears but no one noticed, it was a terrible feeling. I was waiting for all this to end, but now I know there will never be an end to this because it will always be in my memories.


Julianna was lucky that The Hungarian Embassy were acutely aware of Trafficking Victims. I received a phone call and met Julianna when she came to the Embassy for help home.

So ask yourself.

Do Women choose to enter prostitution?

Is it better to choose to make lots of money as a prostitute than to choose to work at a minimum wage job like McDonald’s?

It is profoundly unjust to declare that prostitution is an acceptable job for some women – those who are mostly poor,  very vulnerable, women of colour, mostly young.

Prostitution is an intrinsically abusive institution and women stay poor in prostitution.

(although lots of cash passes through their hands on the way to pimps, stripclub managers, bartenders, taxi drivers, casino hosts and other predators).


Is The UK set up for another Poor Performance??

Greetings from The Slave Detective,

for sale

In 2006 I helped establish The Metropolitan Police Human Trafficking Team in London.

It was a very small unit that was victim focused and resulted in being responsible for over 26% of all human trafficking convictions in the UK in the time the legislation came into force. (2004 – 2010)

The unit was closed in 2010…I’m sure many have heard me go on about this before.

The unit that took over was The Vice Unit who promised 100 people dedicated to Human Trafficking. Their record previously dealing with Human Trafficking victims was poor and that didn’t change when they became the Human Exploitation Unit, run by Kevin Hyland. He had always made it clear he wanted the Human Trafficking Team closed and refused to have anything to do with us.

This team then gradually reduced their numbers until it ceased to exist this year and The Kidnap Unit took on Human Trafficking investigations.

The Human Exploitation Unit famously announced last year that they had cracked a Human Trafficking ring that had been holding three young ladies captive for 30yrs. Kevin Hyland was on the news announcing this as a major case. This was before they had even interviewed the victims.

Det Insp Kevin Hyland said “We have never seen anything of this magnitude before”.

There hasn’t been a single article about it since then!

One year on, this case has been swept under the proverbial rug and the poor performances of the Human Exploitation Unit hidden in the same spot.

Hyland loved to be in the media spot light but continued to fail to deliver.

So when Britain’s first anti-slavery commissioner was announced in The media this week you can imagine the warm feeling I had when I saw Kevin Hyland had been appointed by the Home Office to improve law enforcement against forced labour.

Looks like a poor performance is just what The Home Secretary wants….. or maybe even a fall guy to take the rap for the UK’s law enforcements dwindling efforts in dealing with Human Trafficking.

It makes me sad when I look at the herculean efforts put in by many of the Non Government Organisations in the UK and the huge amount of good news stories in other parts of the world.

Maybe I missed the news stories of the great job Kevin’s Team have done?

I’m sure this will sound the Death Nail for The Gang Masters Licencing Authority who have been under threat for a while now?

For Christmas I bring you ……..Misery

Greetings from The Slave Detective,


“Keep Christmas in December” I hear you cry!!

The lead stories in the UK this week are stories about two of our big Stores launching their adverts on UK TV.

We are of course well on the way to the big holiday. 50 shopping days I believe!

That in a week when three Portuguese men were arrested Wednesday for trafficking and enslaving 34 Bulgarians in Braganca, 490 km northeast of Lisbon. 

Or in a week when an NGO in a good Christian country like Ireland said the number of people illegally brought here to work as prostitutes increased by 17% in 2013.

ireland girl

Strange that these stories made the news in Shanghai!

The Bulgarians were forced to work on a farm on the chestnut harvest. Another link to Christmas. I hope their plight at being rescued from sleeping in a 10 square-meter room in “miserable conditions” will brighten their festivities.

I hope the stores in question who released their ‘big’ adverts are not stocking the chestnuts being harvested by these poor people.

Modern-day slavery is hidden, under-reported and organised. Annual profits made from exploiting people in this way are estimated at around £22 billion.

The Salvation Army, which supports human trafficking victims, has seen a 62 percent rise in people seeking their support in the last year in The UK. This at a time when our law enforcement is shrinking it’s resources in dealing with this serious organised crime.

50 more shopping days to Christmas. Will you be thinking about Slavery when you purchase your ‘Fair Trade’ gifts?


Think Chestnuts roasting on an open fire!

More Ju Ju Evidence

Greetings from The Slave Detective,


Its been a while since I looked at what my colleague and friend Andy Desmond specialises in…. JU JU.

I was prompted by two things.

The first was a heated discussion over dinner recently. The conversation was about how to solve problems in so called ‘Third World Countries’. More on this later!

Then this recent article in The Ugandan Press where the local Police have arrested a man involved in Human Trafficking.

The Headline reads ‘Witchdoctor arrested over human trafficking’

Those that read my ramblings will know that Andy Desmond, whom I call the Ju Ju Master, is an expert in Human Trafficking involving coercion involving witchcraft.

Andy consults under the banner of Anti Trafficking Consultants.

Here he describes Ju Ju ceremonies, beliefs and explains what Ju Ju is.

There are many forms of West African spiritual beliefs or religions. Juju is the term given to the religion of the people of Yoruba.

If you were to look at the makeup of the world’s religions in percentage terms you would see that Christianity makes up the greater number with a total of 33% followed by Islam at 21%.

6% of the world’s population practice or believe in traditional African faiths. This is equal to the numbers who practice Buddhism and Chinese traditional religions.

But where JU JU is considered ‘mumbo jumbo’ and hard to believe the same isn’t considered for these beliefs.

JUJU or Witchcraft is considered evil or black magic but the truth is the human traffickers of Edo and Delta States of Nigeria have hijacked the cultural beliefs in Juju to blackmail their victims.

To satisfy the greed for money for those involved, including traditional priests, paid to carry out the ceremonies.

Tthe strong belief in the spirits that makes this a powerful weapon for modern day slave traders.

Once a potential victim has been put through and sworn an oath of obedience they are captured, snarled in the trap without the need for physical restraints.

The bondage is in the beliefs, there is no requirement to lock up victims and have them watched. You have the spirits to do that for you.

My argument at the dinner table, with the other invited guests, was that these followings are not so different to ours.

We go to the village elders, the learned people, when we are ill or need guidance, our Doctors, physician and theologians. Isn’t this what the witchdoctor is? A highly valued member of the community who people turn to for a blessing or to assist in an problem.

As Mr Desmond states in his blog; and the Witchdoctor who was paraded before the press at Special Investigations Unit (SIU) headquarters in Kireka last week said …….. he was paid to perform the rituals.

“They paid me between sh120,000 and sh250, 000 (£28 – £58…or $45 – $93)  to do the rituals on each girl. I just did my work and I was not aware of what happened,” he said.

The women were taken to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, China and United Arab Emirates.

This isn’t a surprise looking at The Human Trafficking records of these countries but it wouldn’t be beyond belief that they may have arrived in the UK or USA!


Who says dinner with me is dull??

Child Expoliation on the increase?

Greetings from The Slave Detective,



Today in the UK a report has been published that looked at the epidemic of Child Exploitation that has been identified in Manchester.

The Member of Parliament leading the investigation even stated that this was considered ‘Normal’ behaviour in this region!!!! 


Speaking to my old colleagues in London’s Metropolitan Police, they tell me that the child protection units are expanding every day. Those in charge are finding it tough to recruit detectives willing and competent to investigate this type of crime.

If Child exploitation is ‘The Norm’ in Manchester you can be assured London will not be very different.

At the same time New Scotland Yard, which is part of The Metropolitan Police Service in London, who had the label of being the centre of excellence in dealing with Human Trafficking in the UK (Home Affairs select committee report see point 76,77,-82-85, 170, 183, conclusion 15 2009) is reducing it’s involvement in Human Trafficking.

The Clubs and Vice Unit which took on trafficking reports when The Human Trafficking Team was closed in 2010, has now been disbanded. The responsibility for investigation of Human Trafficking has been handed to The Kidnap Unit at Scotland Yard.

In some ways this may be a good thing. The Kidnap Unit is a well established elite team that do a fantastic job in dealing with the many kidnaps London deals with. I worked with them in 2003-2006 and the public would be amazed how many kidnaps happen and the clear up rate that is achieved by this team.

But the Kidnap team is a very busy unit dealing with these complex investigations already. Will they be able to raise the prosecution level to that of the old Human Trafficking Team or will they achieve the relatively poor results that Kevin Hylands Team achieved from 2010 to present day?

There is no doubt in my mind that Human Trafficking continues at the same high rate as when I investigated it from 2006 – 2010.

One of the places I have shared my knowledge with is the community in Tennessee in The USA.

The awareness there continues to be raised and if you watch this link, passed to me by my old chums at Finding Justice, you will see that this relatively quiet, peaceful community is seeing trafficking increase. Watch the video from End Slavery Tennessee (who I don’t believe I have met?) which relates true stories of children who have been trafficked in their area.

With London being it’s usual hive of activity I doubt Human Traffickers have given up and gone home. Once again they will be rubbing their hands that no one is looking at them.

Those that are trying to stem the flow of child exploitation and other serious crime in London are being overwhelmed with caseloads.

children cartoon

It is a good thing that ECPAT are still around and last night celebrated 20yrs of working for Children. ECPAT UK has been instrumental in raising awareness in government of the plight of children trafficked into the UK for both sexual exploitation and for exploitative labour.

There are still many gaps in policy and practice that need urgent attention.

Modern Slavery is closer than you think: Understanding Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking


Greetings from The Slave Detective,


I have worked with many good people in my time. I am fortunate enough to see some of them speaking in this great video.

The film is called  ‘Modern Slavery is closer than you think: Understanding Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking’ and it gives an important profile to a Modern Slavery Helpline that is being run by the NSPCC in the UK, to identify the victims of such crimes.

Please find below a link to the 7-minute film.

Please feel free to distribute this film to your family, friends and contacts – the more people who understand what modern slavery looks like in the UK, the more we can help find and protect the victims of these terrible crimes, globally.


A ‘little insight’ into Organised Crime in Immigration in UK

Greetings from The Slave Detective,

In 2010 a young lady called ‘M’ interviewed myself and another officer in The Metropolitan Police about Organised Immigration Crime.  One name you will recognise the other – not.

These are her notes. I hope this of interest?

Fence Barbed

Interview with Detective Sergeant Roddy Llewellyn
May 4th 2010

Ds Llewellyn -What is your dissertation on?

M- My project working title is ‘how far is the many faces of organised crime’

Ds Llewellyn – laughs

M- the reason why I ask is , taking London for instance if we look at Hackney organised crime to them on their door step maybe gang crime, but in Plaistow it may not be, it maybe…

Ds Llewellyn – yes there it’s more likely to be trafficking or eastern European crimes

M- … there you go

Ds Llewellyn -Obviously I’ve got 2 hats on now, which is the human trafficking team- which I’ve just closed down- which I was working in for three years and a lot of the questions your asking now are the questions I first asked when I started the team, when they put me here i didn’t know much about human trafficking in particular but I had experience in working in over areas ,I’ve worked on Columbians, l have done a lot of work in West Africa, in fact I started the west African fraud squad. African Trafficking which I am not really involved in completely different from Eastern European trafficking. My other ‘hat’ is being a Serious Organised Crime Detective working at New Scotland Yard.

M-if you were to define organised crime what would you definition of organised crime be?

Ds Llewellyn -Well again it depends it what area your looking at, people tend to think it’s Italian Mafioso. That isn’t necessarily the case, sometimes organised crime is a lot lower organised than people would believe, but a lot of it is people trying to make money fast and they’ll use the network and community their involved in to progress their criminal activity and that’s more or less organised crime as their using the assets that are available to them . A lot of human trafficking is small gangs that have an Idea to make money quickly, they are exploiting venerable people so that they’ll bring them to the UK and sell them on or sell them repeatedly for sexual purposes or domestic servitude, we deal with sexual exploitation false labour domestic servitude, false labour and organ harvesting. Fortunately in this country we’ve never been involved in an organ harvesting case but we have been in America, they were murdering people and selling their body fat to the Eastern European cosmetic surgery market. When you think out about it they are disorganised as they make this decision to commit this crime, they want to commit this crime i.e for a reason to take the body fat, and they know they can sell it abroad or sell it somewhere, so you’ve got the network first of picking a victim that some is not going to notice is missing and then obviously killing them, and then harvesting their organs and then selling their organs where they can get the best amount of money for them. That’s just an example of not necessarily a hierarchy and not necessarily people walking around with cotton wool in their mouths, but it is a network that they know they can achieve their ultimate goals. That’s just one example, that’s an extreme example, but that’s just to highlight to you that the people who were doing it were fairly low life, they were making small amounts of money in comparison to what people think organised crime is . I was asked by some people about the film taken, where a couple of American girls get snatched from an apartment in France by eastern Europeans and sold on in this fantasy market to these high end Arabs and people ask me is that real?, well in my experience I’ve never come across anything like that. But what I have come cross is that most of the organised criminal networks that we have come in contact with and we have solved 28 in the last 3yrs and there is only 10 of us on the team. They have been in the “may” in the first instance where they’ve had an Idea. For instance we recently convicted a gang who came from Romania and their leader was a guy called Constantean Alin , selling girls for prostitution in Romania. Basically he was a bully boy, he was a big guy and people were frightened of him and he used he’s attributes for criminality and decided he was going to bring some girls over here, he trick our victim into leaving her boyfriend at the airport cause they were going to travel together and thought they were coming with him. When she arrived in the UK she was made to have sex with men against her will. The story went on were the boy friend came over and he managed to trick them into believing that he was bringing other girls over. They came to the airport to meet him and gave lots of freights saying that “if he didn’t have the girls they would kill her” and that’s how we arrested them at the airport. But it is that low level of criminality, there isn’t anyone necessarily above him. One of the other criminal networks we’ve just dismantled is a Hungarian girl and two guys she had as sort of her minders and one was her boyfriend. they were advertising to bring girls that were from hungry, but there was a network above them that is still in place and are still being investigated and have about 30 brothels that there are bringing Hungarian girls into. But again a lot of that is word of mouth, the guy that’s organising that, is being promoted as it were just because the operation got bigger as he’d got more successful he’s decided to bring more girls in. So he has expanded he’s operation and brought more people in that he could trust.

M- so these 30 brothels they have in London, are brothels not illegal so how did they get so many?

Ds Llewellyn -I can tell you now that 30 brothels is not a lot, I can show you a website now, that if you type in your post code, within 5miles there will be at least 50brothels, if i had my stand alone computer with me today, i’d do it for you but I haven’t today. Brothels are Illegal in the UK. At the moment and again this is with work that we’ve been doing there is a quadrant of London in north east London, from the Thames, sort of up to Chigwell , that sort of quadrant which is particularly prevalent with eastern Europeans at the moment, and that’s where the Olympics is being built , so you have lots of eastern European men who are coming over here to work there and of course most of them are men and when you get a high influx of men you’ll also get a high influx of sex crimes as it were.
I work with a guy called Jim (pointing to Jim on entering the office), Jim used is also working on the solution to the question you asked of why there are so many brothels, when prostitution is illegal. It is very difficult to police, it is very difficult to prove that they are indeed a Brothel, and to prove that premises is a brothel they must be offered sexual services. So everybody knows it’s a brothel, but you have to prove that sexual services are being offered, not just by one person, but it must be by more than one person.
The tactics we are using to tackle organised crime have never be used before, by the very nature of human trafficking the victim we are dealing with must be recruited from another country. They must be transported from that country to this country, via whatever route, which that has to be investigated . the recruitment has’t to be investigated so also will the transportation be investigated then the exploitation in this country need to be investigated. To complete our investigations more than one element will be international, for instance the recruitment and the transportation and the airlines can usually help with transportation information, and some of them could possibly stopped at international borders before they get here. So again we need to gather that evidence. And people thing gathering evidence is easy. We operate differently than a lot of European countries. The policing powers that w have over here as an investigator, they don’t have in Romania . for instance, if I want something in Romania the police officers in Romania will have to go to the prosecutors and the prosecutors will then have to sanction it, so they have investigators who are prosecutors .so the police don’t make a decision to arrest somebody ,the police don’t make a decision to prosecute somebody and the police don’t give evidence at court over there, the prosecutors do it all. So when ever we go abroad you have to adapt your policing style to meet the policing style over there, to get the evidence you require over here and make sure its presented in a way that we can use in this country. Elements of that has it’s on problems and each country that you deal with has its own problems. For example I’m waiting for the French to give me evidence that I have asked for 3 or 4 months ago. But again it helps with our Romanian stuff because we’ve got a joint, investigation team which we’re working with and I’m part of that so I have good contacts. I also have good contacts in Hungary, which I can ask for anything. They have an inquisitorial system which is different to ours where there police have to ask the prosecutor they can’t investigate you for example they would have to ask the prosecutor, if they think there is a good enough reason to investigate you. Where as I can look at you and say right I’m going to investigate you. So if we feel your dodgy we look for evidence that may point to that, and then we will then target you.

M- I heard basically that there are whole villages built for organised crime?

Ds Llewellyn -Yes if you’re talking about operation GOLF, we’ve just been over to a place called Tandurei . operation GOLF is the name of the operation, it is an operation that is targeting a gang of organised criminals who are bringing children from various parts of one town to exploit them not for sex. If i can just rewind you back a little bit, there are over 1000 children that have gone missing from this one town called Tandurei in Romania, its a romaine orientated town, there are various different sorts of people that occupy each town. The Romanian police recognised they had over 1000 children missing and the Romanian police sent to all the European countries their names, and we found 260 children that have come to our notice that have been involved in crime, and most of it is petty crime so it will be shop lifting begging , pick pocketing and then also that their names have come to notice for benefit claims, and what’s happened is that the families have sold or even had their children taken away from them with the promise to give them money, as in take them…yes as in you owe us money so we’re gonna take little Johnny and you’re going to pay of our debt. And often the debt is created to suit them, whether it be a care or something, and their like right, you owe us 1000euros for us lending you our car. But you would have thought hang on a minute you as an educated person wouldn’t allow that, but for one their very poor, the children don’t go to school they are a burden on the family, and when they get to a certain age they have a dowry system for marrying off. And if you can afford that you’ve got to pay it and at 14 the children are put into an arrange marriage. So if you have a daughter who is 14 and you have younger ones who are 6, 7,8,and 10, you’ll have to give one of the younger ones to pay off your debt.

M-Does that explain, because I was told that some of the babies the gypsy girls carry, some of them aren’t theirs. So does that explain where those babies might actually come from?

Ds Llewellyn – Yes, you’re talking about the begging aren’t you. I mean if you go to Rome , the begging is absolutely rife in Rome, each door of the churches, cause obviously in Rome people go and visit the churches and pilgrims and there are 100 of churches and they stand outside begging with kids some of the kids will have injuries that would be inflicted on them to cry or make them deformed in some way, not every single one of them is abused in that way , but that’s just some of the extreme cases . But again that’s a level or organised crime. They are prosecuting them in their country, we’re not prosecuting them here, its part of an ongoing investigation and we are willing to give them whatever they need , but we’re obviously looking to trace these children that are over here. There are various problems in that because their still not going to school over here, they are in the Roma community being moved around a lot, so it makes it difficult. They will come to notice for things like petty crime. A police officer will then arrest a child for shop lifting or pick pocketing which is a very minor offense. You don’t necessarily think of organised crime when you look at that child and you don’t necessarily consider that child as a traffic victim, you just see that he’s committed a crime and that he’s a horrible little toad, their smelly and their there, in the community. A lot of serious organised crime is feed by this street crime.

M-what.. do they keep the money for themselves?

DS Llewellyn-No everything is handed over to their keepers. But when these kids are arrested by the police, the often just say their only 8, their only 10, which is under the age of criminal responsibility, so you can’t prosecute them, so then we ask where is your parents.

M-When you find them with the drugs or the fire arms, what you do from there, because I don’t understand how some of them get away with it.?

DS Llewellyn- Well , some of them get the best defence lawyers, and basically what they’ll do they’ll get off on a technicality, and this is what I’m saying about the paper work, that is why that paper work is so huge, we have to cover every eventuality.(he pointed to about 6 massive containers ). We have to cross all our ‘I’s and dot all of our T’s. If any one of these pieces of information has just a tiny error that is spotted by the defence they could use that as against us and whole cases have been lost by use due to a technicality. Just to get a case to court I have to convince the crown prosecution service that there is an 80% chance that this person can be prosecuted, so just to get it to court there must be a very high level of solvability as it were. After that it the jury, and the jury must decide in every case, that beyond all reasonable doubt, so a very high 99.9% level, that someone is guilty of an offense. so to prosecute someone in a criminal court, it must be beyond all reasonable doubt that someone is guilty, and to prosecute someone in a civil court the level of proof is 51:49, so the level of proof in a civil court is totally different to the level of proof in a criminal court. Going back to the case of brothels, I have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that 99.9% that they are. If they turn around and say their massage parlour, and there is a rouged girl saying all she gives is massages, then it’s nothing to do with us. As a police officer I wouldn’t have it any other way, there must be that high level of proof, because you know that when you convict someone that their guilty, cause you had to get it past the CPS. Then you’ll have to get it past the jury and the judge, cause judge, because if they think there is any doubt they’ll just quash the case. So there is a very high level of threshold just to convict somebody.

M- Some of these youth on the street that are found with guns, where do these gun originate from, are they army guns?

DS Llewellyn – Well one of my roles, I used to be on the shooting them, which dealt with a lot of black on black crime, which is no longer called the shootings team, but operation Trident. So if there was a shooting we would go and investigate it. A lot of guns were either converted, so hand pistols, they started of their lives not as a gun, but as a replica gun, so they’ve been drilled, and there not very effective, because often when people fire them, they just end up falling out the other end. But the fact they are armed, shows their willingness. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, somebody hast to pull the trigger on a gun. A lot of guns have come in from the eastern European market, a lot of guns, went into Northern Ireland, which they’ve come across. But again, it’s a saleable commodity, and if it is a saleable commodity, people will buy it. And again the weapons industry is one of the biggest industry’s in the world. If you have conflicts around the world there are going to be fire arms laying around, by the very nature of people fighting, there will be guns laying around which people will pick them up and sale them again, cause they can be used again. That was a very broad question, but a lot of guns we have been finding are guns that have been converted. And there was a big case recently were a guy from oxford was convicted of converting guns.
You can buy a replica, there are no restrictions on replica’s, but then you have to have the knowledge to convert it.

m-What is the law on gun licensing?
DS Llewellyn Our laws are very strict.The only firearm you’re allowed is a shotgun, That is the only gun you are allowed in your house. You can be part of a shooting club, and handguns can be left at the shootings club. It is a minimum 5yrs imprisonment for possessing a handgun.

m- tell me about a big case

DS Llewellyn – Ali Arslan 4th November 2008, it took us a year to do the proceedings to take their money off them. he was convicted last year, we took 1.3million pounds off him. (pointing to pictures on the wall) this guy here Edward Facuna and…Hassan, he actually was friends with the girls family, and promised to bring her over to the UK, to get her a job at 16 so these 2 drove her across the border. They were stopped in Calais, France with a load of cigarettes, so we were able go over there and get that evidence. They sold her to another guy were he and a couple of Russian guys rapped her she was then sold again and him and a couple of other guys raped her in a house. When she had finished paying of her debt, she was then kidnapped again. but I think Ali possibly set her up, but everyone said that he was a really nice guy. Girls in the trial said he allowed them to pay off their debt and some stayed on to earn money for themselves. This on here (pointing at another case) are a family, which the other son is still outstanding he escaped and went back to Hungary , this one took place in hungry, the son picks up girls meets them in night clubs in hungry, the boy would drive them across and then the mum and dad would make them work the streets outside the house, sometimes they’ll allow them to work in the house and prostitute them, literally the whole gang, that was the whole gang, the family, they’d recruit young girls send them over here use them for a little while and send them back.

M- What’s that case called?

DS Llewellyn – R.v. kalocsai, but the two girls we bought them over to give evidence, we wanted to re-examine one of the girls, so we had to go over to Hungary to do a live video link. Because she couldn’t travel back cause she had to do something, I forget what it was , but they needed her straight away.
This guy here(pointing to the wall) this is one of our first cases, a Bulgarian case. He brought he’s young girlfriend over here, she persuaded her friend to come over and the pair of them used her to get money, so they sold her as a sex slave to get money. And we arrested him first and we then tracked her down. He was married and he just decided to come with he’s girlfriend over here to earn money and live in England.
This one here is an Asian lady, we think her husband sold her to a guy in England, who is a travel agent, this guy brought her over, obviously this guys a travel agent so he can easily get documentation saying she was coming over to be a student, brought her over here and placed her with this 72yr old guy as he’s sex slave, she escaped went to the police and it transpired

m- Hold on wait a minute, he sold her to a 72yr old guy, as in he’s sex slave? “…lol”

DS Llewellyn -yes, a 72year old sex slave. Both of them got arrested, the 72yrold man died in custody, the other guy he got 7yrs and the husband we could never prove that he sold her, but he moved to America

M-not with the wife I take it?

Ds Llewellyn -Lol, no not with the wife, this guy here bertrue malacintosh , he’s been to jail for 16yrs, he was had 2 girls that he had brought over from Hungary and he was driving across Europe selling them across lorry truck stops were he’d put petrol in he’s car. He took them to Holland and Austria where they worked as prostitutes, and brought them over here to work as prostitutes, and when they’d decided that they had enough, he beat them up in the streets, and that’s how we found them. But the network with him is that he knew all the Brothel bosses all over Europe, and he was just bringing these girls and working them all over and earning money literally hand to mouth, but he’d had convictions in Hungary for armed robbery for all sorts of nasty things.

M-So the way in which you found out this guy was through the fact that he found these girls beaten up?.

Ds Llewellyn -Yes, there are a couple of cases like them , I mean we have a cupboard over there where we have 300 cases in it that we’ve given advice and guidance on, were we couldn’t deal with ourselves, we just couldn’t take all of these cases on. So if somebody rings us now, saying we have a case and we don’t they don’t know how to deal with it, we would give them advice, for instance there is a case right now that is being dealt with by the rape specialists and literally every week their asking me for advice, and its quit a big trafficking case and if we had the capacity we would have taken it, but its another Romanian trafficking case and we’ve got two that we’re working on at the moment, were the girls have come over here to work as waitresses or in a club, then they’ve come over here and found the jobs not available, but yet they’ve now got a debt, they have to pay the debt off , they haven’t go their ID cards, they haven’t got money, they don’t know anybody else, their debt is increasing all the time, because their staying with the traffickers , their totally reliant on the traffickers, they don’t know exactly where they are. So a lot of our cases are reactive, that one particular case, which I was telling you about now, the victims family had rang and had reported them missing, and they had some contact with them, by text and that was it. They were being very guarded as they were in front of the guys and they had rapped them a couple of times to control them. We managed to get a Romanian police officer to persuade them, to say that they had in fact been trafficked and rapped and to meet us. In fact they had been rapped the night before, and before that they had said no they wouldn’t meet us, but then they had enough, and meet us the next day, in which we were able to rescue them. But again they meet the guys in the club almost like boyfriend and girlfriend, even though the guy was 27 and they were 17. And again it’s that streets paved with gold in London, come with us we’ll get you there, we’ll look after you. Couple of days in London, they partied for a couple of days, and then after that couple of days they started the reality, that they had to start earning some money for the journey across. And the actual outlay of the baddies were very little, and what at happened is that the baddies had their ID cards and their passports and they’d use them as collateral for the journey, so the actual bus company were holding their passports for the journey, but the girls didn’t know this. So the guys are waiting for the girls to pay off the money, so the guys were waiting for the girls to make the money so they could pay their debts of using the girls. So the girls were in a house full of Romanian construction guys, they were basically selling the girls to the guys in the house, 20 guys in one house 20-30quid a go.

M- so in order to tackle organised crime, what would you as a police officer, who has had almost 30yrs experience, say you would like to see happen?

DS Llewellyn -I’ve been in specialist crime for about 17 of my 29yrs , so obviously a lot of it is dealing with serious organised crime, what would i like to see? Possibly to have more help from the internationals units in relation to what I’ve said before! I’ve been waiting on the French Authorities for about 2 months, and the case is in May, so I’ve been waiting since March. If we are given more access to the stuff we need we would be able to solve cases faster, and solve more, sort of like what happens within the international assistance unit.

Well in relation to what I said before, if somebody wants to make fast money their gonna use what ever’s there. So if there bad, their gonna look around and their gonna use their badness to make money. I tell you what, if some of these criminals put the effort into doing a decent days work that they put into doing some of these crimes, they’ll probably earn twice as much money. But there blinkered, they only think of there and then. They’ve already made the decision to go to crime, its easy to blame other people, its easy to blame the police, but at the end of the day it’s a personal decision. If i want to walk out of here and rob a bank, I have to decide that for myself. Nobody decides that for me, nobody tells me to rob a bank, you can be vulnerable , and you can be encouraged to do it, but at the end of the day, I’m the one that walks in and decides, i’m going to rob that bank, nobody else is going to be doing that other than me. So it’s my decision, its easy to blame other people, we are in a big blame culture. Let’s take for instance burglary; one of the things we are most frightened about is getting our house burgled, now someone knows who the burglar is, some body see’s them walking down the street, somebody see’s them walking out with your TV, somebody buys that TV, in the pub. They’ve got to sell it to make money. And already you have 4 somebodies that can help. But they turn a blind eye to it. The same with drugs, somebody knows, some body has transported it, not always necessarily the people that are using it, somebody see’s someone selling stuff, so we know it’s going on. Somebody is a family member of the person that’s taking drugs they know when their gonna buy their drugs. So it’s all about people taking responsibility. Your never gonna stop drugs, your never gonna stop it, there’s always somebody that wants to experiment, or somebody that thinks it’s clever, and then it becomes an addiction.
I don’t take drugs and I don’t smoke, but I like to drink…do I drink to excess? Well occasionally yeah. Why? …i have no idea, because I like it! and that’s the same sort of thing isn’t it?
It’s difficult…probably if you sat down and calculated the money ive spent in my career on beer drinking, it would probably make your hair curl, if it wasn’t curly already( all laughs).


Interview with Officer P F – operation SWALE:- Metropolitan Police immigration Crime Unit.
May 6th 2010

M-Please can you give a description about yourself, including how long you’ve worked within the police force, what you’ve spent your time working on etc…..

PF- I’m a mixed race African/ English officer who has worked in the organisation for 16yrs primarily within the CID portfolio

M- In your own opinion what your definition of organised crime?

PF-Any group having a corporate structure whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities, often surviving on fear and corruption to the detriment of the community

M-What part of organised crime do you specialise in?

PF-Immigration crime -Our objective is to bring immigration offenders to justice-

M- Is there any particular race, nationality or creed that you would say participate in this area of organised crime ?

PF-This area of crime is predominantly perpetuated by West Africans, Pakistanis, Bangladeshi, Indians and Eastern European countries that are not in the European Union.

M- Why do you believe this happens, what drives them to it?

PF-Most of the people in the United Kingdom who are illegally here are economic migrants.

M-On average how much is the economy losing a year because of this?

PF-There are no current accurate figures because the exact number of illegal subjects is unknown at this time. In my opinion I would say that it is possibly costing the government ten’s of millions annually.

M- What tactics are used to dismantle these criminal units?

PF- With information received from different sources, these individuals are targeted and evidence of their criminal activity is gathered for a successful prosecution.

M- What do you feel the biggest problem is that we are facing with this crime?

PF-Resources to tackle the crime. The government is constantly making cuts.

M-What can be done by the authorities in order to cut down on it?

PF-“Fast track” the removal of illegal subjects in the UK back to their home land and build more detention centres to house those subjects who are due to be removed. A good proportion of illegal subjects who are supposed to sign on at a immigration centre whilst there removal is arranged abscond and sometimes never found for many years until they have reached the threshold point of 14yrs where they then become eligible to remain in the UK

M-What would you like to see done in the future to clean it up?

PF-As mentioned above, more resources put into the Police and immigration service departments, bigger and more detention centres and the government fast tracking illegal subjects out of the UK

M-Do you feel there is anything else you would like to add that will give me a clearer picture about organised crime in your department, stories you would like to tell, cases and case names that have passed that I can talk about and make reference to in my assignment? News paper cuttings etc…

PF-The fact that there are so many illegal subjects in the UK, gives the organised crime groups the opportunity to produce false documentation for those seeking employment where proof of identification and right to work in the UK is required. Not all employers check the authenticity of the document (passport) hence a large number of illegal workers.

Airlines might hold The Answer

Greetings from The Slave Detective,

It always gives me a great feeling of pleasure to see a conviction or a significant arrest for Human Trafficking.

This is of course tainted with the knowledge that there is a person who has been exploited. Hopefully their story has been heard and they are being supported by the likes of The Poppy Project.

I have notice in recent times how persons in a position of authority have been particularly targeted. This Blog looks at persons in positions of abuse in the transport industry.

Transportation is one of the indicators for Human Trafficking and is required to be proved in order to actually have an offence.

airline human_trafficking

Air France recently had one of its managers arrested with his Brazillian wife using cheap Air France plane tickets to bring victims from Brazil to France.

The executive and his wife travelled to Brazil about once a month and would return each time with several women who they passed off as family members, and who were thus entitled to travel on tickets costing only €150 each.

The operation was brought to a halt after one of the women, who had come to France in 2010 to study but was allegedly forced into prostitution by the executive’s wife Claudia, eventually escaped her pimps in 2013 and alerted the police.

A long time ago Delta Airlines were looking at educating their staff on Human Trafficking, looking to raise their awareness.

I’m sure many others have looked at this issue but of course cost is always an issue when big companies are looking to maximise their profits.

There is a web site that raises awareness in airline staff. I spotted it on one of my readers pages. (Thank you Phil Cenedella). It reminded me of my attempts to get airlines involved in Human Trafficing.

Airline Ambassadors International has a web page devoted to such a topic.

“Airports and supporting travel hotels are major hubs of entry and exit for perpetrators and victims alike. Training is needed for airport and travel industry personnel including airport employees, hotel employees, tourism companies, ground transportation and law enforcement.”

Maybe we should be contacting our airline of choice to establish exactly what they are doing with their staff.

Cases have been documented in which traffickers have misrepresented themselves as sports coaches, employers, and family members of trafficked victims. Airport personnel at ticket counters, gates and other areas of airport operations are in a unique position to identify potential victims and report potential incidents to law enforcement agencies, in order to rescue victims and bring traffickers to justice.

I wanted Airports in the UK to have posters placed in Immigration and places of promanace in their buildings.

It was met with a frosty reception by airport owners.

Space is advertising revenue! Once again it is left to the persons who pay these people wages to tell them what we want!