Sex traffickers brought women to work in Peterborough brothels

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Four sex traffickers who brought more than 50 Hungarian women into the country and sold them as part of their highly lucrative vice empire to work in brothels in Peterborough and London are facing years behind bars.

Most of the victims came into the country voluntarily to work in the sex industry, promoted themselves on adult websites and kept half of their earnings.

The brothels were located in Star Road, Dogsthorpe Road, St Pauls Road, Northfield Road and Padholme Road in Peterborough, as well as addresses across London.

One victim was given as a ‘chattel’ to honour a debt to Zsolt Blaga, (38), who raped and abused her at his whim.

She was not allowed to keep any cash from the men she was sold to and was forced to do anything to satisfy her clients, including unprotected sex. The woman finally managed to escape Blaga’s clutches and made her way to Little Ilford Police Station where she blurted out ‘prostitution’ and ‘Hungary’ in her limited English.

Blaga was found guilty of two counts of rape, two counts of conspiracy to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation and counts of conspiracy to traffic persons within the UK for sexual exploitation.

Blaga was also found guilty of three counts of conspiracy to control prostitution for gain following the trial at Southwark Crown Court.

He was cleared of one charge of conspiring to traffic persons into the UK and further charge of conspiracy to control prostitution for gain.

Zoltan Hogenadler, 50, was found guilty of two charges each of conspiracy to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation, conspiracy to traffic persons within the UK for sexual exploitation and conspiracy to control prostitution for gain.

Hogenadler, who also shipped English bulldog puppies into the country to sell on, flatly denied any part in the vice ring in police interview, telling officers ‘I don’t do these kind of things’.

‘I’m not quite clear how you think this would work, you reckon that somebody would come up to me and say, “Oh hello, I work in the sex industry, take me out to England”?

‘No, nothing like this has ever happened,’ he insisted.

Csaba Kovacs, 32, and Natalia Csendes, 29, were found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation, two counts of the same charge relating to within the country and a single charge of conspiracy to control prostitution for gain.

Zsolt Szilagyi, 40, was cleared of the same charges.

Prosecutor Caroline Haughey said: ‘This case concerns the activities of a man called Erno Milankovics and it concerns his associates - some of whom you are to try, these five people - and the empire they built together trafficking women in from Hungary and working them as prostitutes and living off those earnings.’

Many of the sex workers came to the country voluntarily to work as prostitutes within Milankovics’ business that was run on a ‘commercial scale’.

‘A large number of women, significantly in excess of 50, in a large number of houses with a large turnover of money in a variety of areas of East London in the main and Peterborough.

‘Sex was the product and sex was what was sold,’ said Ms Haughey.

But one of the women was controlled in an ‘entirely different way’, jurors heard.

Ms Haughey explained: ‘She was treated by her controller, a man named Jeno Burai, as a chattel - an item of property owned and used and abused at his whim, using her for sex and selling her for sex and ultimately selling her on as an item to honour a debt he had.’

The vulnerable woman ended up in Blaga’s hands working at a brothel on Church Road in east London where he raped and assaulted her.

‘The enterprise worked in the following way,’ said Ms Haughey.

‘Girls were either recruited or had heard about the enterprise in London and contacted Erno Milankovics or his associates seeking work.

‘The very vast majority of the girls, sex workers, were Hungarian nationals who came from the approximate geographical area of Hungary as Milankovics.’

They were shipped in to England by ferry or car and then would repay their travel costs out of their earnings.

They would then be ‘set to work’, uploading scantily-clad snaps online and offering their services at one of the many brothels.

The prostitutes were then moved between addresses to follow ‘supply and demand’, handing 50 percent of their earnings over to the ringleaders.

Blaga, of Tancsics Mihalu UT, Fegyvernk, Hungary, denied four counts of conspiring to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation, two counts of human trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.

He further denied three counts of controlling prostitution for gain and two charges of rape.

Szilagi, of (55) Stratford Road, Plaistow, east London, denied two counts of conspiring to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation, two counts of human trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation and a further charge of conspiring to control prostitution for gain.

Hogenadler, of Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate, east London, denied three counts of conspiring to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation, two counts of human trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation and a further charge of conspiring to control prostitution for gain.

Kovacs, of Salfotarjan, Damjanich, Hungary, denied two counts of conspiring to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation, two counts of human trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation and a further charge of conspiring to control prostitution for gain.

Csendes, of Szekestehrvar, Zichy Liget, Hungary, denied one count of conspiring to traffic persons into the UK for sexual exploitation, one counts of human trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation and a further charge of conspiring to control prostitution for gain.

The convicted defendants were remanded in custody and will return for a three-day sentence in July where they will appear with gang member who pleaded guilty.