The vice invasion: Women recruited as au pairs

World of organised crime sweeps into Britain
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In one operation about 100 women, aged 18 to 25, were smuggled into Britain over a five-year period to work as prostitutes with an escort agency.

The women, who were usually recruited in South America in groups of three or four, were flown to Portugal where false travel documents were obtained.

Some of the women came over to work as dancers or au pairs, were duped into believing they had a great future.

For the first few nights some girls were kept in hotels, wine and dined, and had their photographs taken in hired dresses before being thrust into brothels.

The agency charged pounds 250 for sex with women, which usually took place in hotels throughout London, including most of the capital's top establishments.

About 10 women were kept at one time in two houses in west London, were they had to pay for their board and lodging. They were only allowed to keep a tiny proportion of the money they earned. Passports and identification papers were confiscated. The women said they were too frightened to run away.

When the police seized the ledger of the organiser, they found details of hundreds of clients - several of them household names.