Oct. 12 (UPI) — A Scottish jury on Friday convicted four members of a human trafficking gang who sold Slovakian women into prostitution and slavery.
Jurors found Vojtech Gombar, Anil Wagle, Jana Sandorova and Ratislav Adam guilty of multiple charges at the High Court in Glasgow.
Prosecutors said they coerced young girls between 2011 and 2017 to travel to Scotland with the promise of a better life. Some of the women were sold into the trade while pregnant — including one who said she was held in an apartment for a month before she escaped by jumping from a window. Others were sold to Pakistani men for visa purposes. Prosecutors said one victim was sold to a Nepalese man for about $12,000.
“Human trafficking is an insidious crime,” Detective Superintendent Fil Capaldi, head of Police Scotland’s National Human Trafficking Unit, said. “This crime group exploited vulnerable women using violence, threats and false promises all for financial gain without a single thought for the suffering and terror these women had to endure.”
Gombar, 61, who police said was the ring leader, was found guilty on 13 charges involving eight women. Adam, who shouted as he was handcuffed in court, was convicted of seven charges involving three victims. His wife, Sandorova, 28, was convicted of six charges involving two women, and Wagle, 37, was found guilty of four charges involving one.
The four were arrested in 2017 during raids on their homes. The victims were held in safe houses before they were taken to Scotland. They will be sentenced Nov. 8.