A man and a woman from Harrow have been jailed after a police investigation found they were trafficking young women from Brazil to London to exploit them as sex workers.
Shana Stanley, and Hussain Edani, 31, both of Northolt Road, Harrow, were sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday (27 August).
Stanley was sentenced to three years and seven months while Edani was sentenced to eight years and two months.
They each pleaded guilty at the same court on Monday, 9 August to four counts of controlling prostitution. In addition, Edani pleaded guilty to three counts of arranging/facilitating travel for the purpose of exploitation while Stanley pleaded guilty to two counts of the same charge.
Some of the details heard in court included –
Brazilian women came to the UK expecting to be taking an English course that would last a few weeks – with their flight, passports, studies and accommodation paid for by Edani and Stanley.
The women were soon stopped from attending the courses and instead were exploited into working as sex workers to pay back the costs they had incurred.
Hidden cameras were installed in the victims’ rooms and they were threatened with footage being sent to their families if they did not do as they were asked.
Police were called to an address in South Harrow where a woman told officers she was being kept as a slave and she wanted to go back to Brazil.
The woman was taken to a flat in South Harrow and a hidden camera was installed in her bedroom, which Stanley said was for her safety. She was also given a mobile phone which she was ordered not to turn off so her movements could be tracked.
The woman continued working until 22 March 2020 when she called the police following her argument with Stanley.
By speaking with the victim, detectives were able to identify another woman who had been trafficked from Brazil by the duo and exploited as a sex worker. She travelled with another woman and they had both believed they were coming over to study English.
The women were not allowed to make friends and were escorted to the English course, which they were soon stopped from attending.
Both women eventually managed to escape from Stanley and Edani’s grasp.
On 15 April 2020, officers executed three search warrants at addresses in Wembley and they arrested Edani and Stanley.
The defendants’ bank records showed thousands of pounds in cash being deposited into them, showing the financial gain they made from exploiting the victims.
Detective Constable Pete Brewster, the investigating officer, said: “Edani and Stanley lured their victims with false promises before manipulating them and exploiting them for their own financial gain. They had absolutely no regard for the victims or their wellbeing, including making them work long hours for very little in return – even when they were unwell. All they cared about was how much money they could make.
“The Met remains absolutely committed to doing all we can to protect women and girls, including those who are exploited by people like Edani and Stanley.
“Thanks to the courage and bravery of the victims, we were able to gather overwhelming evidence which resulted in Edani and Stanley having no option but to plead guilty, preventing them from harming others.
“The Met takes all reports of modern slavery extremely seriously and is committed to prosecuting those who engage in this pernicious crime. I would encourage anyone who has suffered from these kind of offences to contact police where they will be treated sensitivity and any allegations will be thoroughly investigated.”
Source: Met Police