Published: 10:00, 05 October 2017
A young woman, stopped in Dover travelling on a fake passport, alleged she was being trafficked into the UK for sex.
She told security officials at Dover Eastern Docks she had been sexually abused by a gang in Albania and had no idea where she was or where she was heading.
But two men arrested for their part in the people smuggling operation were not charged as sex traffickers.
Neculai-Georgel Sirbu, 24, initially claimed the Albanian woman was his girlfriend of four weeks and they were travelling to London looking for work.
However, he later said he had been paid 1,000 euros to take her to a London address and had been expecting his contact to give him “co-ordinates” for the house.
Canterbury Crown Court heard how checks revealed that Sirbu and pal Sebastian Caragata, a 41-year-old security guard, had made three trips from Belgium to the UK in August.
Both men admitted conspiring to smuggle people into the UK and were each jailed for three years.
They had arrived in separate vehicles after travelling from the Continent by DFDS Ferries.
On August 17 chef Sirbu was stopped with the woman as a passenger and initially proffered a Romanian passport for her under a false name.
The judge, Recorder James Osborne heard that once she was separated from Sirbu, she claimed to be Albanian, and to have been sexually abused by members of an Albanian gang – but not Sirbu or Caragata.
Caragata told officers he had been to England 15 years earlier and was carrying no money.
The court heard he had been in the UK three days earlier and was found to be carrying 3,800 euros in his pockets.
The judge said there was definitive proof in support of the woman’s trafficking claims.
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