Hendon woman charged in prostitution crackdown

By Kevin Bradford

A Hendon woman has been charged in connection with with an alleged online prostitution ring.

Jirapha Siwisha, 40, a Thai national who lives in Sturgess Avenue, was arrested as part of a police crackdown on the exploitation of foreign women.

It is believed women were brought into the country from abroad and forced to work as prostitutes to pay off debts of up to £28,000.

Fifteen people across London were arrested in raids on Saturday night, into Sunday morning.

More than 100 police officers then searched a further 19 addresses in central London believed to have been used as brothels.

So far 30 women have been taken from those addresses to a specialist centre staffed with interpreters, non-government support organisations and health workers.

A large quantity of cash was also retrieved.

Siwisha was charged along with three other women and five men from London and Surrey, with conspiracy to traffic women for exploitation, controlling prostitution and money laundering.

All nine will appear in custody at City of Westminster Magistrates Court today.

A man from Hendon was also arrested during the raids, on suspicion of trafficking within the UK, and has been bailed to return pending further enquiries.

Operation Gib, run in conjunction with Norfolk and Surrey Police, began last December. It is believed the women involved were being advertised on a website.

Chief Superintendent Ian Dyson, in charge of the clubs and vice unit, said: “My officers are now working with specialist support staff to speak to all of the women we have recovered to find out how they have come to this country and what they understood before they arrived.

“We believe this gang have been running women of their own but also acting on behalf of other pimps selling on their women. This operation was designed to break down the criminal network exploiting these women.”

The operation is currently ongoing, with further warrants to be executed throughout the coming days.

9:45am Tuesday 22nd April 2008

http://www.hendontimes.co.uk/display.var.2214706.0.hendon_woman_charged_in_prostitution_crackdown.php

 

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