Two sisters from Poland have been put on trial today, accused of trafficking young women and forcing them to work as prostitutes in London.
The Court of Appeal in Bialystok, Poland heard how the siblings, known only as Barbara M and Sylvia M, used violence to coerce more than 10 Polish women – targeted for their youth and beauty – to become sex workers.
The sisters told the women they had arranged for them to work in childcare or as cleaners.
Barbara M was accused of crimes committed between July 2002 and May 2005. The allegations include attempts of human trafficking, inciting violence and bringing women into prostitution. She is also accused of removing the victims’ passports and identity cards and threatening them with violence if they raised the alarm.
Barbara M was arrested in the UK in February and transferred to Polish law enforcement authorities straight away. She has not admitted the charges.
Sylvia M is accused of human trafficking from September 2003 to May 2005. The court heard that she detained young women at her home in London and forced them into prostitution. She is also accused of removing victims’ passports and identity cards and threatening them with violence.
The victims were lured to the UK when the sisters offered to pay their travel costs and living expenses. However, on arrival they were forced to work in brothels. When one of the women protested, she was beaten, kicked, had her hair pulled and was burnt with a cigarette.
The horror only ended when one of the victims found a hidden mobile phone and sent text messages to her family who notified the police.
A few years ago the sisters’ mother and cousin were convicted of similar charges.
The trial continues and the verdict will be given next week.
Beware of GHOST JOB offers.
Dominika Rejmer – Director and founder, The raTrust.