Prostitutes working at a Berkhamsted brothel were encouraged to have sex with clients without condoms, a court heard this week.
And when the girls – who had been trafficked to the UK from Hungary – threatened to leave, brothel boss Robert Turai warned them he would send explicit pictures of them to their families back home.
Turai had around 40 women working for him and over an 18 month period made huge sums of money from the brothel in Charles Street and another in Hillingdon, St Albans Crown Court was told.
Both properties were rented to him by businessman Mohammed Jhangir, who knew what was going on and was allowed to have sex with any woman he wanted free of charge.
Turai, 32, of no fixed address, was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to two offences of keeping a brothel and four offences of trafficking women into the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
Fellow Hungarian Janus Orsos, 27, of Poplar, London, pleaded guilty to one offence of assisting in the management of the Charles Street brothel – at the time he was living in a house next door.
He was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, ordered him to pay costs of £1,200 and carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Jhangir, from Chesham, was jailed for 12 months after being found guilty at a trial earlier in the summer of two offences of keeping a brothel.
Police raided the Berkhamsted premises in the summer of 2011 after being alerted by suspicious neighbours.
Det Insp Steve Keating added: “We are delighted with the convictions. Human trafficking is an evil crime that involves the sickening exploitation of vulnerable human beings for the benefit, usually financial, of criminals.
“This is Hertfordshire’s first conviction for human trafficking and we want to send out a very clear message to anyone who feels human life has such little value that they deceive, force or coerce people into servitude, exploitation or degradation for criminal gain.
“We know traffickers operate in organised gangs and they should know that we will come after them and bring them to justice.”
For a full court report, see this week’s edition of the Berkhamsted Gazette, on sale tomorrow.