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Brothers from Ilford jailed for human trafficking and modern slavery offences

Left to right: Valentin, Grigore and Alexandru.

Three brothers from Ilford have been sentenced to a combined 28 years imprisonment for modern slavery offences and Proceeds of Crime Act offences.

The trio were part of a Romanian organised crime group and sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court yesterday after being found guilty earlier this week following an eight week trial.

Valentin Lupu, 25, of Perth Road and Grigore Lupu, 39, of Wellesley Road were both convicted of conspiracy to require another to perform forced or compulsory labour, conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another with a view to exploitation and conspiracy to convert criminal property. They were both sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. 

Alexandru Lupu, 43, of Neville Road was convicted of conspiracy to require another to perform forced or compulsory labour and conspiracy to convert criminal property. He received an eight years sentence. 

A court heard how they worked with other unknown gang members to traffic victims to the UK to exploit them int he construction industry. 

The brothers made £1.2 million during the three years and two months they were operating.

An investigation found they deceived people into travelling on the promise of being paid £500 per 30 days.

They then had their identify cards confiscated and were forced to stay in the defendants’ overcrowded and poorly kept houses in East London.

The trio then forged qualification documents and made their victims work at building sites across London and the Home Counties. 

Violence was used to make sure people remained obedient. The Lupu’s also took their wages and forced them to live in terrible conditions so that their victims remained reliant on them.  

On Tuesday, 16 October 2018, 15 search warrants were executed simultaneously between Romania and London in a bid to arrest offenders and recover assets.

Police saved 33 potential victims of human trafficking, including four women and five children, from four of the London addresses during the joint operation.

All three men have also been issued with Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders and will be subject to asset recovery procedures targeting property in Romania, vehicles and cash assets accrued through their offending.

 

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