Gang of four found guilty of trafficking women to Scotland for sex

Vulnerable women had passports taken from them and then forced to work in brothels across Glasgow.

Four people found guilty of trafficking women from China and Thailand to Scotland for sex Google Maps

Four people have been found guilty of trafficking women into Scotland for sex.

Jagpal Singh, 52, his partner Donglin Zhang, 48, along with Vlassis Ntaoulias, 33, and Boonsong Wannas, 62, lured victims from China and Thailand with the promise of legitimate employment.

But, instead the vulnerable women had passports taken from them and then forced to work in brothels across Glasgow.

Detectives eventually swooped on the gang during a large scale probe.

Three women bravely recounted their ordeals at their hands, but a number of others are also thought to have suffered.

Singh, Zhang, Ntaoulias and Wannas now all face lengthy jail-terms after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Singh, Zhang and Ntaoulias were convicted of being involved in human trafficking. Wannas had earlier admitted to the same charge.

Zhang was also found guilty of aiding or abetting prostitution.

Along with Wannas, she was further convicted of being involved in the management of a brothel.

The charges spanned between August 2018 and February 2020.

They had been on bail, but were remanded by Judge Douglas Brown pending sentencing next month.

The court heard in evidence from one of the victims who told jurors that she was “trafficked” to Glasgow from China in September 2018.

She was told that she would work as a dishwasher, baby sitter and do massage work.

The woman stated that she was taken to a flat in the city centre where she stayed for a few weeks with a Chinese woman.

Her passport was taken by Zhang who she referred to as her “female boss.”

The woman stated she initially did work such as shopping and cleaning but was not paid.

She was then taken to a second flat by Singh and Zhang who ordered her to provide “sexual services.”

The woman stated: “I said no and she said if you don’t listen to me…I will make sure you never go back to China.”

She went on to meet men “everyday” at the apartment or in hotels.

The woman stated there was not a “fixed amount” of visits per day adding: “Sometimes just a couple, sometimes quite a few, quite a lot some days, some days no one.”

Jurors heard from prosecutor Chris Fyffe who said in his closing speech that a second woman was “delivered as if she was a piece of property or some kind of commodity.”

He added: “She said Singh took delivery of her and took her to his flat.

“She was treated like an object for him to use and sexually abuse.

“Her value to him was not as a person but as an object which he could make money to extract a profit.”

He stated that the woman was brought to Glasgow by two unknown people before being dropped off at a flat in Oswald Street and told to “work.”

She told the jury that she “could not leave and I had to do it.”

Singh gained control over the woman by telling her that he knew people in the Home Office.

She claimed she was “drugged and raped” by Singh who faced an allegation of the sex crime which was removed by Mr Fyffe during the trial.

Singh and Ntaoulias in the meantime exchanged messages where they spoke about “new fresh Chinese girls.”

The pair also discussed exchanging cash on WeChat.

In reference to finding a flat, Singh told Ntaoulias to make sure there was “no concierge.”

Mr Fyffe stated: “If you’re running a brothel, you won’t want a concierge asking questions about why there are so many people coming and going from the flat.”

Jurors were played CCTV of the flats where Singh and Ntaoulias were registered tenants.

Men were seen to come and go on a regular basis throughout the day as well as Zhang and Ntaoulias.

Property manager James Taylor told jurors that he encountered two Chinese women in nightdresses during an inspection of Singh’s Albion Street flat.

He stated the property contained CCTV and a dentist style waiting area outside two bedrooms – one of which contained a naked Glaswegian man.

Mr Taylor said he was taken to another of Singh’s flats in the building where he saw six mobile phones and a Chinese woman enter with leather trousers.

Singh left the country in September 2019 when Zhang and Ntaoulias continued to run the business in absence.

Ntaoulias teamed up with Wannas in the meantime to run another brothel where a number of unknown women were used at a flat in Charlotte Street in the city’s east end.

A 27-year-old Thai woman was also trafficked to work at sex for sale flats in the city’s Anniesland and Cathcart. 

This victim – who already had debt issues – was ordered by Wannas to pay £5,000 on her arrival to Glasgow to supposedly cover her visa costs.

Wannas was in control of any cash and took a cut of any earnings. 

The court heard how one of the gang’s victims escaped their clutches after a “client” gave her money to get free.

Singh and Zhang then repeatedly tried to contact her.

Another was able to identify Singh as the man who “exploited” her.

Judge Brown told the traffickers: “These are serious charges and in terms of the sentence it’s almost inevitable.

“It is highly likely there will be high sentences of imprisonment.”

All four showed no emotion as they were led into the cells from the dock.

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