Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Romanian prostitutes take control in Tadworth

These women took matters into their own hands, and were able to call the police.They were brought in to tout their services at the Candyshop in Tadworth.

ROMANIAN prostitutes smuggled into the country to work in a Tadworth brothel called in the police when they became fed up with the arrangement.

They charged punters £100 an hour,receiving half the takings, but decided after a month that they wanted to return home and walked out.

Quotes from Smuggled prostitutes tipped off police about brothel by Post reporter.

It is great that they felt able to call the police, collectively.A seven month jail sentence is lenient, in my view.

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One feels that this story is like an iceberg with a lot of it hidden from view. I would love to talk to these ladies and find out what the real story is. Note that their initial complaint was that they were illegally trafficked and then held against their will, but this is not what the brothel keepers were charged with, which would surely be a much more serious charge.

Perhaps they were unable to walk out and go home because the employers were holding their passports?
"The court heard that Calleja hatched the plan in March last year after visiting Romania and arranging for girls who had worked as prostitutes in Spain to travel to the UK."

Sounds to me like the girls knew darn well what they were doing (in advance), but soon figured out that they did not like what they were getting paid. Pity the poor girl who earns 50 lbs an hour (sorry, I can't figure out how to make the british pound symbol on my US keyboard) and has to purchase her own food after receiveing free room and board.

How many people earn 50 pounds an hour? How many Romanian girls earn that?

I also noticed that this was not a sex slavery or human trafficking case. The owners were simply charged with operating a brothel. Do not automatically assume that since the girls were Romanian that they were held against their will.
"They initially told officers they were being held prisoner and had just escaped but it later transpired they were willing prostitutes."

So the only crime that the men committed (from a prostitution industry "morals" point of view) is that they were able to secure the services of the girls at "below market rate". When the girls realized they could probably make more money on their own (but had few resources available to set-up shop for themselves), they instead took their anger out on their employers.

Pretty stupid, if you ask me. The girls should have saved their earnings, gotten themselevs a flat of their own, and gone solo a few months down the road. Sounds like they knew darn well that they were only getting half of the money.
James B,

Thank you for your comments. I agree, there is more to this story.


Thank you for your comments. Did you read this bit though?

"Ringleader Vincent Calleja, a 45-year-old property developer from Beechen Lane, Lower Kingswood, also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to managing a brothel and an additional charge of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. He will be sentenced at a later date."

It looks like he was involved in trafficking,in an earlier hearing.

If they were willing, why where they charged?

There are numerous brothels that operate, and are not closed down.
To make a £ sign the best thing is to find one by Googling it and then copy and paste. Now you can refer to this message any time you need one.

£ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £
It sounds like these ladies took things a step further and pre-empted what would happen. We always assume that EE ladies are trafficked because of what we hear and read. Sounds like the only trafficking was done by the ladies themselves!
This is one of those cases that are quite hard.

It seems as if it might be the case that the women came of their own free will prepared to undertake sex work for what may have seemed large amounts of money back home.

I spoke some time ago with a Chinese escort who was organising a very similar set-up - except she hadn't trafficked the girls (well only from London via adverts in Chinese language newspapers!) She provided accomodation and food (in her own house) for the girls who worked in the brothel. It wasn't working out as she couldn't get enough clients so the girls kept going back to London as they weren't earning enough.

I guess going back to Romania is more difficult which may be why they contacted the police.

It sounds as if the prosecutions took place for running a brothel not for trafficking. But clearly the police chose to prosecute because of the issues about trafficking.

The main issue is about the consent or lack of it of the women. The news report says they admited they consented. However one can never know what threats may have been made against family members which is what makes this such a difficult area.

Kama has in the past argued vociferously against some of the arrests for trafficking, claiming it is a restraint against trade in a global economy.

I don't agree with that - but I think the whole problem is fraught with dificulty. I don't have any solutions other than that the women concerned should be treated with care and respect without moralising about what they are doing.

Conditions back home can sometimes be pretty bleak too - especially returning under a cloud.

B xx
" and an additional charge of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. He will be sentenced at a later date."

Yes, I did read that. The "human trafficking" is the act of illegally importing the girls. If he'd brought the girls in to work at his McDonalds franchise instead, then he'd have been charged with "immigrant smuggling". But what about the fact that these girls were already hookers back in Bucharest?

Thank you for your comments. I am puzzled.

I cannot understand why they would need to be smuggled in, if they were willing?


Thank you for your comments.

I wonder what really happened here. They worked for a month, and then called the police.


I do not know.

Are you saying that these men should not have been charged, as the women were willing?
Are you saying that these men should not have been charged, as the women were willing?

Most brothels in this country are not raided and the owners are not arrested - as long as there are no complaints, no evidence of drugs use and no evidence of trafficking.

If UK women are willing and the brothel is not raided then why should it be raided if the women are are willing but from abroad? Surely the issue should be whether they were willing or not - or at least the level of exploitation - not their nationality?

But I understand the levels of exploitation are hard to guage which is why brothels get raided most often if they have foreign girls working there - which I suppose is Kama's point.

But as I said earlier. This is so complex and I don't think there are any easy answers.

B xx

#1, they were smuggled in because visas would be difficult to get. Even tourist visas. You have a strong economy. Romania does not.

If the men broke the law, then they should expect to get charged. Sounds like you can be charged with a prostitution-oriented smuggling charge in GB.

But what I'm saying is that as far as you and your friends go, you should probably consider these men mere entrepreneurs. You should have no real contempt for them (other than perhaps cutting into your profits...I know you are sensitive to that) ;-) .

The men recruited the girls FREELY in Romania. The girls agreed to go. They transported the girls (at their own expense) to Britain. The girls knew what their cut of the money was. Yeah yeah, 50% is bad, but it is NOT slavery by any means. The girls lived with free accomodations. Tell me what (exactly) these men DID to these girls other than give them an opportunity to work and make good money?

Several years ago, I stumbled (from afar) upon the emerging internet escort scene in Argentina. I was stunned at the high level of gorgeous girls that would spend 24 sexual hours with a man for $400. I seriously considered trying to bring girls to my home city for tours, starting an escort agency, putting them up in luxury accomodations and taking a mere 25% of their earnings. These girls could have commanded $500 per hour (easy). Logistics proved difficult, as it is hard for an Argentine to even get a tourist visa here. So I abandoned the idea. Would I have been on the same level as a human trafficker in your eyes? Girl gets $375 per hour (3-5 times what she'd earn at home). I'd get just $125.

Someone else asked me why the girls should also be charged. Because they themselves were part of the conspiracy. In my home state, they are not only arresting immigrant smugglers, but they are also arresting those smuggled as co-conspirators.
I think if the women were smuggled into the country, they should be sent home. varying degrees of law breaking doies not make them immune. They don't belong here, the system can't cope, and they have a home elsewhere.
I have news for some of your readers, Nia. Romania joined the European Union on January 1st 2007, meaning that British escorts are now free to work in Romania, and vice versa.

Of course these offenses will have been committed prior to January 1st.

I take your point, and am not clear about this issue myself. I feel if the women were willing, then I am not sure what the charges are about. As we both know, most brothels are allowed to operate in this country.


I am glad you did not go ahead with your Argentinian idea. No, I would not have considered you a human trafficker. Just Glengarry, the pimp :)


It seems that these women wanted to go home.


There has been a lot of scaremongering, about Romanians coming in, and flooding the market.
Nia, just curious, what exactly bothers you about what these men did? On the surface, it appears that the females were 100% willing participants. Is it more that the men make money off the efforts of the girls, or is it more that the girls are "cheap imports"?

I had assumed that they were trafficked, and that is what was bothering me.

It looks like that did not happen, so I do not know what to think of this story.
I think "trafficked" has come to have a variety of meanings and implications.

At one end it can mean someone arranging transport and employment (expecting a fee no doubt) at the other end of the scale it can mean women deceived or coerced to cross national boundaries, raped and forced into sex work.

Most often in most of these scenarios are dodgy men making money out of it.

It is further complicated by the changing employment and imigration legislation in the UK with more countries becoming part of the European Union but now with different and more complex employment rights.

At the bottom of it all I guess is the need to ensure that less financially secure people are offered some protection from the sharks that want to make money from their labours - whether it is coercing them into sex work or picking cockles in Morecambe Bay as the tide comes in.

B xx
When it is for the purpose of prostitution, they call it "trafficking".

When it is for the purpose of making money off of those you traffic, then they call it "smuggling".

"Most often in most of these scenarios are dodgy men making money out of it."

So who gets to be the moral authority on what is considered "dodgy"? If it is merely because the men wanted to run a brothel using cheaper labor? Is it because the men sought to run a brothel at all? If the operator of a brothel is a female (former escort) is she considered "dodgy"?

Who gets to be a part of the sexwork industry? Is is 100% the domain of just the one who sells the sex, or is there a place for those who turn it into an enterprise? I know what the legality is in Britain, but what do you folks think?
I know this man and he is a cunning and ruthless person who has been in prison many times before, i agree that the girls in question knew what they were doing but im almost sure that when they got to know 'Calleja' would of felt under threat and their choices would have been taken away from them.
Personally i hope they put him in prison for a very long time.
This man has also recently been charged with attempted armed robbery, britain does not need these type of criminals walking freely to commit such crimes. good riddence to bad rubbish...

Thank you for your comments, and for stopping by. It sounds like he has not learned his lesson.
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