Gravesend trio Tibor Suchy, Viktoria Sanova and Rene Sana guilty over sham marriage bid for trafficked rape victim from Slovakia
Three people from Gravesend have been convicted for their part in coercing a trafficked Slovakian woman into a sham marriage after she suffered weeks of sexual abuse.
The 26-year-old was kept at a house in Abbey Road before being sold for £4,500 to a man she was due to marry who left her in hospital after repeated rapes.
Now Gravesend trio Tibor Suchy, 28, his wife Viktoria Sanova, 27, and 30-year-old Rene Sana are facing sentence along with 32-year-old Muhammed Badar Ul Islam.
The victim was unemployed and looking for work when she was targeted.
She was living on the street in Slovakia when two men approached her in a shopping centre and asked if she would go to England to marry an Indian man in exchange for a better life.
The two men persuaded her she would be better off and took her to a flat, where she was kept for two weeks.
Another man then drove the victim through Europe, before arriving at Dover by ferry from Dunkirk on Tuesday, February 26.
The booking reference for the crossing was traced by detectives back to Suchy.
After arriving in the UK, the victim was driven to an address in Abbey Road, Gravesend, where she was introduced to Suchy and his wife, Viktoria Sanova, before being sold.
While Suchy arranged for the victim to be married to a man over a two-week period, she was driven to Stratford in east London and shown to a Pakistani man - Muhammad Badar Ul Islam.
The court heard he agreed to buy her for marriage in order to legitimise his stay in the UK as his student visa had expired in January. Suchy drove the woman back to Gravesend where he kept her until Badar Ul Islam was ready to take her.
On Wednesday, March 13, Suchy drove the victim to Stratford where Badar Ul Islam paid for her in cash - a stack of notes described by the victim as being about 10cm to 15cm thick.
His bank account shows two cash withdrawals of £300 and records from January also showed two transfers - totaling more than £1,100 - to an account held in the name of a co-conspirator and registered to the Abbey Road address.
The investigation later established the victim was to be sold for a total of £4,500.
She was taken home by Badar Ul Islam where for six days she was housed and raped. But when she suffered an injury as a result of one the attacks, she needed an ambulance to go to hospital.
The victim needed surgery and was in hospital for four days, when staff became concerned for her welfare and phoned police.
Badar Ul Islam was arrested on Sunday, March 24 as he tried to board a plane to Pakistan from Heathrow.
Suchy, of Abbey Road, admitted conspiracy to breach UK immigration laws - a sham marriage - and was convicted by a jury at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday of a trafficking conspiracy for exploitation. He was cleared of attempted rape.
Sanova, also of Abbey Road, was convicted of conspiracy to breach UK immigration laws, but cleared of conspiracy to traffic.
Sana, from Gravesend, was convicted of conspiracy to breach UK immigration laws, but cleared of rape.
Badar Ul Islam, from Walthamstow, admitted conspiracy to breach UK immigration laws and was convicted of rape and trafficking within the UK. He was cleared of trafficking into the UK.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police's human trafficking unit took the victim to Gravesend, where she was able to identify the Abbey Road address where she was held - leading to the arrest of Suchy, Sana and Sanova on Wednesday, May 1.
During a search of the property, officers recovered several Slovak passports hidden in the hollow of a hi-fi speaker, photocopies of Slovak ID cards and travel invoices for Slovak female nationals were also found concealed in an outhouse.
All four are due to be sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Thursday.
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