A married couple have been convicted after trafficking women in and around the UK with a view to exploit them by forcing them to be sex workers.
Wai Tsang, 52, and Wenwen Pan, 40, both of St Mary’s Terrace, Westminster, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit human trafficking, controlling prostitution for gain and possession of criminal property for gain.
Pan was also found guilty of two counts of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply.
In July 2019, a woman aged in her 30s attended Kensington Police Station and told officers that she had been trafficked to England from China in December 2015 and made to work as a sex worker.
The court heard that she came to England as her husband owed a gambling debt in China. It was agreed between them that she would travel to the UK, as those her husband had the debt with were chasing her for it too as his wife.
Her husband told her that his friend would collect her from London Heathrow Airport and that she would be provided with food and accommodation.
She landed in the UK in December 2015 and was met at the airport by her husband’s friend.
While she was sleeping, the husband’s friend entered her room and raped her. He also took her travel documents.
It was then made clear to her that her husband had sold her and she had to make money for the people who now controlled her by having sex with men.
She was taken to other locations and had to provide sexual services – sometimes with up to 10 men a day.
The victim stayed at an address in High Street Kensington where she was made to work as a sex worker. This property was managed by a Chinese man and woman. The victim referred to the couple as ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Mimi’ – later established to be Tsang and Pan.
Tsang was the main driver who drove the victim to “outcalls”, which is when she was taken to clients’ houses or hotel rooms.
The victim was not allowed to leave her room apart from when she was taken to outcalls.
Pan would give the victim instructions via a messaging application about a client, the address, what they wanted, what was expected, the fees that should be charged and if ‘Big Brother’ was on his way to collect her.
Each booking ranged in price from approximately £120 to £230 and the money had to be given to Tsang.
The victim was also told to sell drugs to clients. Pan would tell her what drug the client wanted and to give it to the client when he arrived.
Clients would be provided with cocaine and crystal meth. Pan was violent to the victim once when she became aware that the victim had refused to take drugs with a client.
The victim was kicked by Pan and her hair was pulled out.
The victim was also threatened with violence and she was told that her family would be killed if she tried to escape.
The court heard that it was this fear of violence against herself and her family that prevented her from escaping or going to the police earlier – the victim worked up the courage to report her ordeal to the police in July 2019.
Tsang was arrested in Waterloo Place, where he was parked in his vehicle after picking-up a woman from High Street Kensington and dropping her nearby.
On the same day, a search warrant took place at Tsang and Pan’s home address. Pan was present, but she refused to let the officers in – keeping a chain on the door.
Pan moved away from the entrance and attempted to throw a pink basket full of mobile phones out of the window, but she was prevented from doing so after officers forced entry into the flat.
During a search of the flat’s office, police found a large quantity of Class A drugs, namely cocaine and crystal meth, as well as a set of scales.
PC Sam Bhangu, from Central West area’s Sexual Exploitation Team, said: “Tsang and Pan were part of a conspiracy directing and controlling the activities of sex workers.
“They had absolutely no regard for the wellbeing of the women they controlled. They dehumanised them and treated them as objects for their own personal financial gain.
“I’d like to commend the huge amount of bravery shown by the victim, not only for reporting these atrocious crimes to us but also for her vital assistance throughout the investigation, which ultimately helped us to bring Tsang and Pan to justice.
“The victim was controlled by this couple for years. She was forced to have sex with multiple men a day and she was even subject to violence and terrifying threats if Tsang and Pan were unhappy with her. She was trapped in this nightmare for months on end because she was in genuine fear of her own life and the lives of her loved ones.”
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