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Sex trafficker jailed after forcing Lithuanian women to work as prostitutes in north Kent

PUBLISHED: 13:54 31 July 2017

Romas Drulia

Romas Drulia

Archant

Romas Drulia was flown in to Biggin Hill Airport to be arrested earlier this year

A sex trafficker who “cruelly and unscrupulously” exploited women and ran brothels across four Kent towns has been jailed.

Romas Drulia fled the country in 2015 after trafficking two Lithuanian women into the country and forcing them to become prostitutes.

The 35-year-old forced them to pay rent on the brothel they worked in and took a substantial cut on their earnings, while working as part of a gang which offered jobs luring women into joining the sex trade.

While on the run, officers continued their investigation, gathering phone evidence and witness testimony to prove his guilt of running brothels in Rochester, Gillingham, Chatham and Maidstone.

Having fled the country for two years, Drulia was caught at Sweicko, crossing the Polish-German border near Frankfurt in February this year, and was flown into Biggin Hill Airport where he was handed over to Kent Police, after a European Arrest Warrant had been issued.

Drulia went on to plead guilty to two counts of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, six counts of controlling prostitution for gain and four counts of managing a brothel for prostitution.

On Monday, Drulia was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

He will be deported once he has served his sentence.

Det sgt Jason Booth said: “The victims were offered hope of a new life with better prospects but instead they were forced to illegally work as prostitutes.

“Outside of their home countries, there was no one around to support these women and that was a vulnerability Drulia exploited for financial gain.

“Thankfully the victims have now returned to their families and are receiving the support they need.

“The suffering they were subjected to is no less than modern day slavery, something we as a police force are working tirelessly to eradicate.

“I would encourage anyone who suspects a brothel is being run in their community to contact us. All reports will be investigated with the utmost sensitivity.”

Other assistance is available through The Salvation Army on 0300 3038151 and Migrant Help at www.migranthelpuk.org/get-help-and-advice/i-might-be-a-victim-of-trafficking.

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