Maldon man, Gheorge Negreanu, 24, jailed for human trafficking role

Maldon man, Gheorge Negreanu, 24, has been jailed for his role in a human trafficking case

Maldon man, Gheorge Negreanu, 24, has been jailed for his role in a human trafficking case - Credit: Archant

A man has been jailed for five-and-a-half years for his involvement in trafficking women from Romania who were then forced into prostitution.

Gheorge Negreanu, 24, had denied three charges but changed his pleas to guilty on the second day of his trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Negreanu was sentenced to five-and-a-half years for intentionally facilitating travel of a person with a view to their sexual exploitation, three years for controlling prostitution for gain, to run concurrently, and three years for managing a brothel, to run concurrently.

It was the first case human trafficking that Essex Police has taken to court.

Negreanu, who is unemployed and from Maldon, was arrested on Tuesday, October 7, when police were called to an address in Wycke Hill, Maldon, as part of a multi-agency operation targeting human trafficking and modern slavery in Essex.

Detective inspector Lewis Basford said: “Modern slavery goes beyond just the trafficking of people.

“It is also about their exploitation and, as we have seen in this particular case, prostitution.

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“These girls were trafficked into the UK from Romania with one clear objective and that was to make money through sexual exploitation.

“They were promised a better life in the UK with the offer of a legitimate job waiting for them.

“The girls were so vulnerable and frightened of the consequences that they felt they had no choice but to be compliant.

“Human trafficking is a hidden crime which often involves a life of suffering for the victims and huge profits for the traffickers.

“We would like to express thanks to the victims who have shown great strength and courage by coming forward to give evidence in this case, despite experiencing extreme trauma.

“Equally, we would like to thank the Crown Prosecution Service and the interpreters involved in this case.

“We are very pleased with the result at court today and remain committed to targeting those involved in such an abhorrent crime.”

One of Negreanu’s victims, a 21-year-old student , said: “I have been very affected emotionally over the whole incident. I feel as though I will be scarred for life.

“I have tried to get over what took place but I am still working on it. I have had great support from my family and I am sure that one day I will be able to forgive and forget.

“I felt relieved when I was asked to come back to the UK to attend court as I knew that justice would be done.

“I am very happy and relieved that he has pleaded guilty to all counts. I wished that he had done this before the trial though.”