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European arrest warrant for Aurlija Antanaityte suspected of running sex ring with boyfriend Romas Drulia set to be withdrawn

By Rachel Dixon

by Rachel Dixon and Ed McConnell

Police are set to withdraw a European Arrest Warrant for a young woman suspected of running a sex ring.

Aurlija Antanaityte, 26, was alleged to have conspired with boyfriend Romas Drulia to traffic three women from their native Lithuania to the UK to work as prostitutes between 2013 and 2015.

Once in Kent the women were put to work in brothels in Clifford Way, Maidstone; Watersmeet, St Mary's Island, Chatham; Century Court, Rochester; and a flat above an Indian takeaway in Watling Street, Gillingham.

Brothels were allegedly run in Maidstone and Chatham
Brothels were allegedly run in Maidstone and Chatham

Drulia, then 35, was jailed for four-and-a-half years in 2017 after admitting running the operation with business partner Tomas Ziemys, who was jailed for three-and-a-half-years.

Drulia is set to be deported after serving half his sentence.

He'd fled to Europe with Antanaityte but was arrested in Poland under a European warrant.

Antanaityte, formerly of Maple Drive, in St Mary's Bay, was charged with three counts of human trafficking, controlling prostitution for gain, keeping a brothel and three counts of conspiring to run the sex ring.

But by then she was back in her home country where she had given birth to Drulia's child and was under house arrest.

Now, after three years police have given up on attempts to extradite her after failing to reach and agreement with the Lithuanian authorities.

A court previously heard young women would answer adverts for masseuses or vegetable packers only to find they were plunged into the sex trade when they arrived in the UK.

One was taken to a flat in St Mary’s Island and warned she would “have a funeral to look forward to” if she did not do as she was asked.

“One was also told by Drulia about girls going missing and having their bones broken,” said prosecutor James Lofthouse.

Others were warned they had to work as prostitutes for four months or hand over £1,000 before they could leave.

Clients were charged £50 for 15 minutes and £120 for an hour. The women had to hand over 50 per cent of their earnings to the bosses and pay £70 a week for rent.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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