Lancashire Police uncover major sex trafficking ring operating in Preston

Eight people have been charged in connection with a major Lancashire Police investigation into sex trafficking.

Friday, 24th April 2020, 3:10 pm
Eight people have been charged in connection with a major Lancashire Police investigation into sex trafficking in Preston, Burnley and Blackburn

The men and women were arrested after a Romanian sex trafficking ring was uncovered, operating in Blackburn, Burnley and Preston.

Lancashire Police conducted a series of raids after their investigation revealed that the group were operating and controlling the prostitution of women across different parts of the county.

It follows an investigation in February and March by the force's East Exploitation Team under the code-name Operation Brixton.

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Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, eight people have now been charged.

They will appear before Preston Crown Court this week and a trial is expected in December.

The suspects arrested and charged are:

Razvan ZIDARU (02/04/1990) of Douglas Place Blackburn charged with Human Trafficking and controlling prostitution.

Valentina CRETU (female) (20/07/1989) of Douglas Place Blackburn charged with Human Trafficking and controlling prostitution.

Valentin GHELASE (12/01/1985) of Feilden Street Blackburn charged with Human Trafficking and controlling prostitution.

Mihaela BARBIERU (male) (26/07/1988), of Feilden Street Blackburn charged with Human Trafficking and controlling prostitution.

Marius SERBAN (27/07/1981) of Castelton Road, Preston charged with Human Trafficking and controlling prostitution.

Valentin CARAMAN (29/01/1982) of Oakenhurst Road, Blackburn charged with Human Trafficking and controlling prostitution.

Stefan ION (16/09/1987) of Wensley Road, Blackburn charged with Human Trafficking and controlling prostitution.

Tahir MAQSOOD (05/05/1969), of Newcastle Street, Blackburn charged with allowing premises to be used as brothel.

To pass on information anonymously you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or complete an anonymous form online www.crimestoppers-uk.org

When you contact them your identity will be protected.

If you think that someone is in immediate danger call 999. If you suspect slavery is happening and there is no immediate threat to life then contact us on 101.

Lancashire Victims Services offer help and support, even if you haven’t reported a crime to the police. You can contact them on 0300 323 0085.