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UK/Czech Republic: Sex slaves for sale at £3,000

Publish Date: 28 Dec 2003

The Sunday Mirror
By Graham Johnson, investigations editor and Dominic Hipkins

TEENAGE girls are being kidnapped and smuggled into Britain to be sold as sex slaves for £3,000 each.

The terrified youngsters are held prisoner in brothels where they are forced into prostitution by their masters.

Sunday Mirror investigators were offered the chance to buy 100 of the girls - three of them aged just 15.

The sordid trade centres on the historic Czech capital of Prague - a thriving destination for Brit tourists on sex holidays.

It is rapidly becoming the sex tourist capital of Europe, fuelled by the increase in cheap direct flights.

Our investigation follows the sentencing this week of the Albanian Mr Big behind the Eastern European sex trafficking trade in the UK.

Illegal immigrant Luan Plakici, 26, was jailed for 10 years at Wood Green Crown Court in London for smuggling up to 60 women into Britain and forcing them into prostitution.

Evil Plakici beat his victims, allowed them to be raped and even caged his 16-year-old wife in a brothel.

But we can reveal that rival gangs are already vying to fill the vacuum left by Plakici's capture.

Our investigators infiltrated a Russian Mafia gang that offered to supply 100 girls - kidnapped from the former Soviet Union - to massage parlours in Britain every month.

A Russian godfather called Ima told our undercover reporters: "We can send girls to Britain. You like Russian girls? We send each one for six months and you pay 5,000 euros (£3,000) each."

Like Plakici, the Russian mafia uses Prague as a staging post on the smuggling route between East and West.

Our investigators were shown around one of their brothels in Prague and a safe house where girls are held against their will before being sent to brothels in Europe.

The Russians told us that any of the miserable-looking girls we were shown were available to be smuggled into Britain for the right price.

In the first brothel - a dimly lit loft conversion called Dessert in the tourist quarter - there were 12 semi-naked girls sitting on wooden chairs.

The guide told us that three of the prostitutes were just 15.

The safehouse - a three-storey villa on the outskirts of Prague - was prison to a further 20 prostitutes.

Our investigators were taken there in a blacked-out Russian mafia Mercedes driven by an armed bodyguard.

After running a background check on our men, a mafia boss called Andrei agreed to talk to us.

He said: "They (the girls) can't escape. If they cause problems, we will hurt their families in Russia.

"Russian girls are the most obedient. We can smuggle people into the EU as dancers or waitresses. That's how we get work permits."

Another boss called Yusef added: "These girls have been in Prague for six months and I don't have problem. I have 50 girls in Prague now. We control the business here."

Yusef, who wore expensive designer clothes and a ski hat with a Union Jack, flashed a wad of 14,000 euros (£9,500).

Smiling he said: "That's the money I make in one night in Prague. But I have escort businesses in Germany and Israel.

"London is what we want - there's a lot of money there." In a sinister reference to the Albanian mafia who control up to 70 per cent of the vice trade in London's Soho, Yusef grinned: "The Albanians? They are not a problem.

"We remember the Albanians who have done business here. We control Prague now.

"Each girl is 5,000 euros. Once you have paid, she is yours for as long as you want.

"After six months, if you want to get new ones, you'll have to pay 5,000 euros again."