Watch the moment police stop car
Four people have been sentenced for their involvement in a prostitution ring which saw women's sexual services sold from rented homes in Bristol.
Their operation was discovered after police stopped a car on Broad Weir, Bristol, in the early hours of 28 July last year
Inside the car officers found a 19-year-old woman who was wearing nightwear sat next to a suitcase, alongside Marin Grigore and his brother-in-law Alexandru Dita.
Checks on the Police National Computer revealed Dita had previous convictions for human trafficking offences and both men were arrested.
It transpired Grigore had arranged for the woman to travel from Germany, saying he would leave his wife so they could be in a relationship. He then manipulated her into working for him at his brothels.
Officers then searched Grigore's home address where the found his wife Mirela Mincu, his sister Adriana Dita and three women who told police they were sex workers.
Evidence found within the property suggested it was being used as a brothel while investigators later found adverts online offering sexual services for each of the other three women.
Enquiries into the adverts found they had been set up using Mincu’s email address while classified adverts in Romanian publications were also found with Mincu’s mobile number provided for people to contact.
Officers also attended another address on Tudor Road which had been rented by Grigore after the woman found in the car told officers she lived there. In the property were two other sex workers leading officers to believe the property was also being used as a brothel.
Financial investigations were subsequently carried out by detectives. These revealed more than £100,000 had passed through the bank accounts of Mincu and Alexandru Dita in the preceding 12 months while significant sums were also deposited into the accounts of Grigore and Adriana Dita during the same period.
All four entered guilty to pleas to various offences at Bristol Crown Court earlier this year and were sentenced at the same court.
Marin Grigore, was jailed for 21 months for controlling prostitution for gain, arranging or facilitating travel of a person with a view to exploitation and acquiring, using and/or possessing criminal property.
Alexandru Dita, 30, of Burchells Green Road, Kingswood, South Gloucestershire was jailed for two years for controlling prostitution for gain and using and/or possessing criminal property.
Mirela Mincu, 32, of Roman Road, Bristol was jailed for 23 months, suspended for two years for controlling prostitution for gain and using and/or possessing criminal property. She will also be subject to a three month curfew and have to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work
Adriana Dita, 26, also of Roman Road, was given a 12 month community order requiring her to do 50 hours of unpaid work for using and/or possessing criminal property.
Senior Investigation Officer Detective Inspector Mark Newbury said: “As a result of some great work by one of our roads policing officers who recognised there was more than met the eye when he stopped a suspicious car, we have successfully dismantled a prostitution ring which saw at least one woman trafficked from abroad to work in brothels.
“While we didn’t uncover evidence any women had been forced into prostitution, there was no shortage of proof they were being exploited and clear evidence at least one had been manipulated and coerced into becoming a sex worker.
"In her statement, the woman found in the car revealed Marin Grigore had lured her to the UK with the promise he would leave his wife so they could begin a relationship. He used her feelings for him and desire to move to the UK to manipulate her into working for him at his brothels.
“Grigore and Alexandru Dita were clearly the ring leaders of the operation which saw them make huge sums of money from women selling sexual services.
“Playing an equal role in the setup was Mincu – who we established through her text messages and the online adverts, coordinated most of the women’s appointments.
“None of those involved were able to account for their bank balances with only Grigore apparently having a job – cleaning cars for £50 a day."