“Modern day slavery” gang jailed

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Three men and a woman have today been jailed for a total of more than 30 years after being convicted in “a case of modern day slavery” following a ten week trial at Preston Crown Court.

Azam Khan (33) of Brougham Street, Burnley, has been jailed for 12 years after being found guilty of people trafficking, three offences of rape, assault and false imprisonment.

Abdul Sabool Shinwary (38) of Washington Street, Bradford, has been sentenced to 10 years and three months after being convicted of people trafficking for exploitation under section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004.

Imrich Bodor (45) of Clipstone Street, Bradford, has been jailed for nine years after being found guilty of people trafficking for exploitation under section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004.

Kristina Makunova (37) of Girlington Road, Bradford, pleaded guilty to people trafficking for exploitation during the first week of the trial and was yesterday given a 51 week custodial sentence.

A fifth person, Nusrat Khan (40) of Colne Road, Burnley, was handed a nine month suspended sentence after being found guilty of false imprisonment.

Petra Dzudzova (25) of Clipstone Street, Bradford will be sentenced tomorrow (Friday) after being convicted of people trafficking for exploitation.

The victim’s plight first came to light when on Saturday, October 20th, 2012, police received an anonymous call to report that a 20 year-old Slovakian woman was being held against her will at a house in the Daneshouse area of Burnley.

The woman was rescued by officers from an address in 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 October 13th, 2012, at a time when he was due to be deported to Pakistan, after being refused leave to remain in the UK.

The victim returned home to Slovakia in January.

Det. Insp Neil Howarth said: “I am pleased with the sentences handed down by Judge Gibson today. 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.”

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.”

Emma Kehoe, Crown Advocate for CPS North West said: ““We have been able to secure successful convictions against these defendants and they have now been given custodial sentences for the terrible ordeal that they have subjected their victim to. I would like to commend the victim for her bravery and I hope this outcome allows her to move on with her life.

“All cases of human trafficking are extremely serious, complex and require sensitive handling. The CPS will continue to work with the police and other agencies to tackle this form of modern day slavery and bring those who are responsible for it before the courts.”