Four members of a multi-national criminal gang who forced women into sexual exploitation and sham marriages in Glasgow have today been found guilty of human trafficking and slavery offences
Over six years, the gang trafficked women from Slovakia under the promise of a better life in the UK. When the women arrived here they were sexually exploited and sold for between £3,000 and £10,000 as part of a sham marriage conspiracy.
Police Scotland uncovered the trafficking ring during a five-year operation, the result of a complex investigation led by law enforcement from around the UK and European agencies.
During the investigation officers supported more than a dozen suspected victims of human trafficking to safety.
The gang members have denied the charges and will be sentenced next month.
Commenting on the case, Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, said:
"The criminals in this case were exploiting vulnerable women over a number of years, cynically trafficking them from their hometowns under false promises of a better life and opportunities in the UK.
Instead, they were sexually exploited, abused and sold as commodities to men who wanted them as their wives - all so the men could obtain EU citizenship.
Human trafficking is a vile crime whereby criminals exploit vulnerable victims for financial profit. Through the collaborative efforts of Police Scotland and their law enforcement partners across the UK and Europe, these women were safeguarded and the criminals have been rightly brought to justice.
I hope the sentencing will reflect the horrific trauma their victims endured and the gravity of this serious and often organised crime."