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Modern slavery gang imprisoned after exploiting hundreds of women in London

Human Trafficking
30 May 2022
Human Trafficking

Members of a dangerous modern slavery gang have been jailed for trafficking and exploiting hundreds of women across London.

Sebastian Zimoch and Anna Zimoch, alongside three others were sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court in West London.

Mr Zimoch ran the gang with his wife taking over in his absence.

Specialist officers with the Metropolitan Police identified over 300 potential victims of trafficking. Sky News reported that 134 women were safeguarded by the investigating team.

The gang ran brothels across London, recruited women and employed drivers and a receptionist, making significant amounts of money in the process.

One of the victims spoke to Sky News. She left her home in Poland for the UK aged 18 but was homeless after two days.

She said:

"I didn’t know what to do. Only thing I know was to find a place to sleep and a job. I didn't think about prostitution work. I found adverts on a website about jobs where you can sleep."
Victim of human trafficking

A grim reality

Sadly, modern slavery takes place in communities across the UK on a daily basis. Latest estimates suggest that the recent covid-19 pandemic made matters worse.

While all parts of the UK have dedicated anti-trafficking laws in place, more work needs to be done to ensure more prosecutions.

One of the ways to do this is by making sure victims of human trafficking receive long-term support when rescued.

This will give them greater confidence and will mean more feel able and supported to act as witnesses against the traffickers.

That’s why CARE’s supported various legislative attempts to change the law so victims are guaranteed at least 12 months support.

Earlier this year, CARE was instrumental in persuading the UK Government to agree to mention 12 months support in guidance for the first time.

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, CARE campaigned successfully for an amendment to a major piece of legislation which means confirmed victims there will be given at least 12 months support.

In the recent Queen’s Speech, the UK government announced a new Modern Slavery Bill and when it’s published, CARE will engage as required to ensure laws put victims first.

In this CARE Session, James is joined by IJM UK's Euan Fraser to discuss how you can respond to modern slavery

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Human trafficking is one of the greatest violations of human dignity. We are fighting for effective laws that will help victims get better support.

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