Gang leader who trafficked more than 100 women to Britain is jailed for 31 years

Vishal Chaudhary, who lived in a luxury flat and drove a Mercedes, controlled his victims from a makeshift call centre

The leader of a gang that trafficked more than 100 women to Britain has been jailed for 31 years as a judge condemned the “misery and degradation” its members inflicted on their victims.

Five people – including a senior manager at Deloitte, the accountancy and consulting giant – were jailed for a total of 70 years after being found guilty of luring women to the UK, where they were forced into prostitution to work as “sexual slaves”.

The ring was led by Vishal Chaudhary, 35, who lived in a luxury Canary Wharf apartment in Pan Peninsula Square until days before his arrest last year. The Indian national drove a convertible Mercedes and used a series of pseudonyms including Rahul Singh and Aresh Khan.

He was assisted by his brother Kunal Chaudhary, 32, who helped traffic women while working as a senior accountant at Deloitte in Manchester.

During a five-month trial jurors heard how the brothers and three others trafficked women from Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland. The victims, some as young as 18, were duped by online adverts for jobs in administration, looking after children or cleaning. Some were approached on Hungarian social networking sites.

What they experienced in Britain was so horrific that a court interpreter was brought to tears. At any one time the gang had 10 or 11 brothels in operation.

Detective Sergeant Alan Clark of the Trafficking and Kidnap Unit told The Independent: “The pain some of these women have suffered is incomprehensible, both emotionally and physically”.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Gower said that Vishal Chaudary had a “ruthless” attitude towards women. “This operation was on a massive scale and persisted from 2007 to the end of January 2013. It was a network that over a period of six years exploited hundreds of women.”

The gang managed their victims from a makeshift call centre in a semi-detached house on a suburban street in Hendon, north London. Victims had their passports taken away and were threatened with further abuse if they tried to contact their families. Some were made to have sex with up to 20 men a day.

Krisztian Abel, a 33-year-old Hungarian national, acted as enforcer. The court heard that on one occasion, Abel forced a victim in her twenties to carry out brutal sex acts with clients which left her with serious injuries, as a punishment after she discovered the address of the brothel where she was being held.

Abel’s sister, Szilvia Abel, 24, was arrested in Budapest and extradited to Britain where she was also found guilty of various counts of conspiracy to traffic women for sexual exploitation and prostitution.

A jury at Croydon Crown Court was told that 120 flights had been booked to bring victims to the UK. Other women were picked up at Stansted airport by handlers who would deliver them to brothels in Barnet, Waltham Forest, Haringey, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Brent, Westminster, Enfield, Hounslow, Islington, and Kensington and Chelsea.

Vishal Chaudhary was found guilty on three counts relating to trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and prostitution. He received three sentences amounting to 31 years. Police will work with the UK Border Force to enforce his deportation once his sentence is served.

Krisztian Abel was sentenced to 26 years, and his sister Szilvia to four and a half years. Another man, Attila Kovacs, 33, was sentenced to six years.

Kunal Chaudhary successfully applied for British citizenship while an employee of Deloitte, having come to this country as a student in 2002. The judge gave him three sentences amounting to eight years and 18 months in prison for trafficking and concealing criminal property.

Deloitte confirmed that Kunal Chaudhary had worked at its Spinningfields office in Manchester. A spokesperson added: “As soon as the charges were confirmed he was suspended without pay and following his conviction he was dismissed without notice.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent