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Members of an Organised Crime Group (OCG) have been jailed for their part in the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women from Poland into London and the south east of England.
Specialist Crime detectives identified over 300 potential female victims and safeguarded 134 after one victim managed to escape and alert police.
Detective Inspector Esther Richardson, who led the investigation, said: “This organised crime group may never have been identified if it weren’t for our brave and courageous victim, her evidence was crucial to our investigation. I give my heartfelt thanks to her, she enabled us to bring these offenders to justice.”
The four men and one woman were sentenced on Friday, May 27, at Isleworth Crown Court following a ten-week trial in March where they were convicted of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of another person with a view of exploitation and conspiracy to control prostitution for gain.
They were sentenced as follows:
- Sebastian Zimoch, 48, of Carlton Road, Romford, was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.
- Anna Zimoch, 45, of Carlton Road, Romford was given a two year suspended sentence, ordered to undertake 150 hours unpaid work and attend 30 days’ rehabilitation requirement.
- Michael Lozinski, 53, of Berwick Avenue, Hayes was also convicted of controlling prostitution for gain and was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.
- Gregaor Borowka, 44, of Yeading Avenue, Harrow was sentenced to three years and nine months’ imprisonment.
- Rafal Lacki, 41, of Felmongers, Harlow was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, however he has today been released due to time already served.
The court heard how the victim, who was 19-years-old at the time, alerted police in April 2020, after she was denied food by one of the members of the OCG. This was following her refusal to perform sexual services with a client. In sheer desperation and determination she managed to escape and alert police.
The victim, using the pseudonym Bella, has since said: “I hope my story will help keep young vulnerable woman and children safe. Modern slavery needs to be stop immediately. After today, I will be looking forward to the future.”
At the core of the investigation was a small team of specialist officers who worked for 12 months, piecing together what had happened to ensure all the OCG were identified. They worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, working late into the night when the demand in the sex industry was at its highest, to gather evidence.
In the early hours of Tuesday, February 9, 2021 officers executed five search warrants in Romford, Harrow, Hayes, Forest Gate and Harlow in Essex. They were arrested at their home addresses, along with Lozinski whose home operated as a brothel.
The court went on to hear how Lozinski ran five brothels in west London and Zimoch ran two brothels in the Docklands and north west London.
The ‘business’ began in 2015 and the OCG was run by the husband and wife team, Sebastian and Anna Zimoch. They recruited women, employed a number of drivers and a receptionist. They all received significant financial gain through this degrading form of exploitation, in excess of £500,000.
In addition, Michael Lozinski branched out running his own brothel to maximise his illegal profits.
Lacki was one of the main drivers for the OCG along with Borowka, who also worked as a receptionist for Golden Kiss escort services. Both Borowka and Lacki were trusted members of the OCG.
During this time, one women aged 19 was sexually exploited and trafficked to clients addresses in the West End. On one occasion the victim was taken on a call out to Arab clients, around £3,000 was exchanged for her services for a whole night, with the victim being paid around two hundred pounds.
In 2020, Lozinski and Zimoch ceased working together.
Sebastian and Anna Zimoch ran an escort website called Golden Kiss, advertising girls for sex work. He, along with his drivers, drove the women to the clients. Borowka accompanied Zimoch during these call outs.
DI Esther Richardson, went on to say: “My team have worked tirelessly to uncover the true scale of this illegal operation and track down and safeguard hundreds of other women across London who were being exploited by this OCG.
“Unfortunately, this type of exploitation is still happening across London and the UK. The Met’s modern slavery team works around the clock to identify people involved in human trafficking and forced labour, and we play a role in protecting and supporting hundreds of victims each year.
“We need help from the public as they have an important role to play in recognising and reporting modern slavery. If you suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, report it. You will always be taken seriously and protection and support is available.
“Often those affected do not see themselves as potential victims of sexual exploitation and many will have been coerced into this life to make money for an organised crime network. Victims are often told the police and authorities in the UK are not to be trusted and with limited English are unable to seek help, even if they want to.
“We believe there are victims of modern slavery in every borough across London and the public may encounter them every day, possibly without realising. As well as being sexually exploited, victims have been found working in construction, domestic servitude, agriculture, cannabis factories and in places you use yourself, such as car washes, barbers and nail bars.”
If you suspect that you, or someone you have come into contact with, may be a victim of modern slavery or trafficking and require support, please call The Salvation Army’s 24 hour confidential referral helpline on 0800 808 3733. This is the best way to get support to anyone you suspect might be a victim
You can also report a suspicion or seek advice through the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
You can also report to the police online at www.met.police.uk or by calling 101, in case of an emergency dial 999. Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org