Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Human traffickers sentenced to 12 years

Two human traffickers who forced women into prostitution in West London were jailed for a total of 12 years on monday. They were based in a brothel in nearby Chelsea so it is quite possible the ads for their 'services' were carried in the Fulham Chronicle's adult section in a practice H&F Council has described as "highly distasteful". Several of the ads they carry, as you can see from the pic below, advertise services in the Chelsea area.

Sergey Konart, 41, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and Ekaterina Kolesnikova, 26, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to a series of charges, including trafficking and controlling prostitution.

During the hearing at Southwark Crown Court, the court heard how officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's Human Exploitation and Organised Crime Command arrested the pair in December 2010 after searching five addresses - two in Chelsea, two in Queensway and one in Earl's Court. They also searched a safety deposit box held by Konart in Knightsbridge.

The pair - who were operating as part of a Russian and European based organised criminal network - recruited vulnerable young Eastern European women to come to the UK by promising them opportunities to make large amounts of money as waitresses, shop assistants or dancers.

Once in the UK they took the girls' ID and travel documents. They then held the girls to a debt bond of up to £80,000, which they forced them to pay off by working as a prostitute from residential addresses in Chelsea - charging clients up to £200 a visit. They were threatened with violence and plied with ecstasy and cocaine to gain compliance.

In her witness account, one of the victims stated the work she was being forced to do made her "skin crawl". She said she felt "sick" because lots of the clients were "disgusting". She "hated" her life and knew that it was very harmful for her health and having a big impact on her mental state. Another victim stated: "I felt used and thrown away."

Speaking after their sentences were handed down Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland, from the SCD9 Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit, said:
"Konart and Kolesnikova [the convicted traffickers] recruited vulnerable young women on the promise of well paid employment in the UK. On their arrival in London they were forced into prostitution in some of the capital's exclusive areas".

"Traffickers have no regard for the rights or wellbeing of those they exploit. Anyone who uses prostitution service needs to be aware that they are part of the exploitation and may be committing offences"
That'll be why the Police keep asking newspapers to stop helping pimps and brothels by taking their cash for advertising.

Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Martin, head of the Human Exploitation and Organised Crime Unit of the Metropolitan Police, recently said this to editors:

"The adverts often purport to be massage parlours, saunas or escort agencies, but are in reality a front for criminal networks to advertise trafficked victims for sexual services. 
"Advertisements that offer multi-national or young women or which are sexually suggestive in tone are often the type found to be linked to the provision of sexual services and / or the presence of trafficked women. 
"It is these types of adverts I am seeking your support in preventing. I would ask that you put in place a system to satisfy yourselves that those seeking to place advertisements are genuine concerns or businesses and not a cover for the criminal activity highlighted above".
But money is more important to our local paper it seems so they haven't given the police the support they have asked for by not accepting these adverts, so don't expect to see this story there.


  1. Scum. The pair of them.

  2. Erm.....

  3. erm ... thats not the Fulham Chronicle

  4. It's the same company. Kensington Chronicle is from the same people as the Fulham Chronicle, written in the same office, and therefore carries the same advertising. So your argument about the Chronicle not running stories like this one is just nonsense.

  5. and your decision to hide behind anonymity speaks volumes - as does your latching on to this point as opposed to the human story behind it. Pathetic.

  6. You latched onto it first. I was just trying to correct an error you've made in your article. My choice to be anonymous has no significance I'm afraid. I am, of course, deeply shocked by the human story behind this. I just felt that your criticism in this instance of the local paper was a little unfair.

  7. I just find it hard to take anyone seriously who hides behind anonymity to make criticisms - including you I'm afraid..

  8. Hopefully one day in the future, the internet will be a place of harmony where people engage with others in an open, curious and careful manner.
    A likely story.