A total of five people, including a man from Harrow, have been convicted of modern slavery offences following an investigation by the Met.
A total of 134 women have been safeguarded following an operation in London and Essex last year, led by detectives from the Met’s Central Specialist Crime Command.
Specialist police officers identified over 300 potential victims of trafficking, of which 134 women were safeguarded by the team.
Following a 10-week trial at Isleworth Crown Court, the five defendants were convicted yesterday (Wednesday, 16 March), of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view of exploitation and conspiracy to control prostitution for gain. They will be sentenced on at the same court on Friday, 27 May.
Acting Detective Inspector Esther Richardson, from Central Specialist Crime, said: “I am pleased we have been able to uncover the true scale of this illegal operation. My team worked tirelessly to identify and safeguard hundreds of other women across London who were being exploited by this organised criminal group.
“Unfortunately, this type of exploitation is still happening across London and the UK. The Met’s modern slavery team works around the clock to identify people involved in human trafficking and forced labour, and we play a role in protecting and supporting hundreds of victims each year.
“We need help from the public as they have an important role to play in recognising and reporting modern slavery. If you suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, report it. You will always be taken seriously and protection and support is available.
“Often those affected do not see themselves as potential victims of sexual exploitation and many will have been coerced into this life to make money for an organised crime network.
“We believe there are victims of modern slavery in every borough across London and the public may encounter them every day, possibly without realising. As well as being sexually exploited, victims have been found working in construction, domestic servitude, agriculture, cannabis factories and in places you use yourself, such as car washes, barbers and nail bars.
“Victims are often told the police and authorities in the UK are not to be trusted and with limited English are unable to seek help, even if they want to.”
The five defendants are: Gregaor Borowka, 44 of Harrow, Sebastian Zimoch, 48 of Romford; Michael Lozinski, 52 of Hayes, Rafal Lacki, 41 of Harlow and Anna Zimoch, 45, of Romford.
The court heard how Lozinski ran five brothels in west London and Zimoch ran two brothels in the Docklands and north west London, their ‘business’ started in 2015.
They recruited women, employed a number of drivers and a receptionist. The defendants received significant financial gain through this degrading form of exploitation. In addition, Michael Lozinski branched out running his own brothel to maximise his illegal profits.
On the morning of Tuesday, 9 February 2021 in Harrow, Romford, Hayes, Forest Gate and Harlow in Essex, officers executed five warrants. The defendants were all arrested at their home addresses, along with Lozinski whose home operated as a brothel.
If you suspect that you, or someone you have come into contact with, may be a victim of modern slavery or trafficking and require support, please call The Salvation Army’s 24 hour confidential referral helpline on 0800 808 3733. This is the best way to get support to anyone you suspect might be a victim
You can also report a suspicion or seek advice through the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
You can also report to the police online at www.met.police.uk or by calling 101, in case of an emergency dial 999. Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.
Source: Met Police