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4:04pm 9th October 2013
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FOUR men and one woman have today been found guilty of people trafficking for exploitation following an eight week trial at Preston Crown Court.
Imrich Bodor, 45, and Petra Dzudzova, 25, both of Clipstone Street, Bradford, Abdul Sabool Shinwary, 38 of Washington Street, Bradford and have all been found guilty of people trafficking for exploitation under section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004.
Nusrat Khan, 40, of Colne Road, Burnley has been found guilty of false imprisonment.
Azam Khan, 33, of Brougham Street, Burnley has been found guilty of people trafficking, three offences of rape, assault and false imprisonment.
Kristina Makunova, 37 of Girlington Road, Bradford pleaded guilty to people trafficking for exploitation during the first week of the trial.
All will be sentenced by HHJ Gibson tomorrow, 10th October.
On Saturday, 20th October 2012, police received an anonymous call to report that a 20 year old Slovakian woman was being held against her will at a property in the Daneshouse area of Burnley.
The woman was rescued by officers from an address on Colne Road, the home address of Nusrat Khan, and disclosed that she had been kidnapped in Slovakia and brought into the UK where she was subsequently exploited.
A police investigation revealed that she had been brought into the UK by Imrich Bodor and kept in the Bradford area by him and Petra Dzudzova before being sold to Abdul Shinwary. Shinwary then sold the victim to Azam Khan, who is the nephew of Nusrat Khan.
She was then married to Azam Khan in a Nikah ceremony at a Burnley Mosque on 13th October 2012 at a time when he was due to be deported to Pakistan, after being refused leave to remain in the UK.
Azam Khan was arrested in October 2012 for offences relating to the trafficking of his victim, alongside his relatives, Mashrafat and Nusrat Khan. Azam Khan was subsequently charged with rape, assault and false imprisonment and remanded into custody.
Following a number of search warrants executed in Bradford in December 2012, Imrich Bodor, 45, Petra Dzudzova, 25, Abdul Sabool Shinwary, 38 and Kristina Makunova, 37, were arrested, subsequently charged and remanded with human trafficking offences.
Nusrat Khan, 40, and Mashrafat Khan, 61 were re interviewed on 29th January 2013 and subsequently charged with trafficking for exploitation contrary to section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004. The case against Mashrafat Khan was subsequently dismissed at court on 16th September and Nusrat Khan has been convicted of false imprisonment.
The victim returned home to Slovakia in January 2013 with the assistance of the Slovakian authorities and Caritas, Slovakian catholic charity. However, officers travelled to Slovakia and escorted her back to the UK, in order to give evidence.
Detective Inspector Neil Howarth said: "This is a case of modern day slavery. The victim in this case has been trafficked into and within the UK, sold, subjected to assaults, rape and further sold for marriage.
"During police interviews it became apparent that she had been brought to the UK against her will on a coach in August 2012. She had been prostituted against her will, physically assaulted, prevented from leaving the company of persons associated to her, had her travel documents taken from her, sold into marriage and raped.
"Someone within the community raised the alarm to alert the police to this woman's ordeal and I would like to thank them for that. However, others within the community at Bradford and Burnley have turned a blind eye.
"Throughout her ordeal all she wanted to do was go home. The victim had no intention of benefitting from the opportunities presented in the UK and returned home as soon as possible.
"She is an extremely vulnerable young woman, and I am proud at the bravery she has shown in attending court and giving evidence to obtain justice."
Following today's verdict, the victim said: "I am very happy that these bad people are going to prison. This is what I always wanted after what they did to me. Thank you to the person who rang the police.
"I was so scared for my life. Many times I wanted to run away from them but because of what the bad people told me, I didn't know where to run, where to go, or who I could trust.
"All I wanted to do was go home to my family in Slovakia. If the police hadn't come to get me, I don't think I would be here today.
"Thank you to the police and all the other good people who looked after me and got me back to my family.
"Thank you for believing me."
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