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.