Pregnant woman saved from sex trafficker after taxi driver notices her crying

Romanian victim was held hostage and sent to brothel in Coventry after responding to masseuse job advert, say police

Chiara Giordano
Monday 30 September 2019 21:32 BST
Taxi driver rescues pregnant woman from being sex trafficked in Coventry

A taxi driver saved a pregnant woman from a sex trafficker after being told to take her to a brothel.

Bodycam footage captured the moment police in Coventry rescued the woman after Tahir Mehmood noticed her crying in the back of his car and raised the alarm.

The woman, who was three months pregnant at the time, travelled to London from Romania in February last year, after responding to an online job advert for masseuses.

But just hours after arriving Robert Enescu, 26, locked her in a room at a home in Enfield, north London, without food, heating or a toilet.

Enescu, also Romanian, drove her to Coventry two days later where he planned to force her into prostitution after he made her pose in lingerie for adult contact sites.

The woman was saved four days after her arrival in the UK when Mr Mehmood noticed something was wrong and called the police.

When officers arrived, they found that all the victim had in her possession was a bag of 50 condoms given to her by Enescu, who had smashed her mobile phone and stolen what money she had.

The next day, police rescued several other eastern European women suspected of being used as sex slaves at a brothel in St Christians Road.

Enescu was arrested at his home in Kingfield Road, Coventry.

He denied being involved in trafficking the woman but was found guilty on 9 September this year and jailed for nine years in his absence after he skipped bail.

A wanted appeal has now been issued and West Midlands Police is working with police across the UK and Europol to find him.

Robert Enescu (left), 26, from Coventry, who is wanted by police for sex trafficking a pregnant woman who was rescued after taxi driver Tahir Mehmood (right) raised the alarm.

Police have also now released bodycam footage showing the moment officers responded to Mr Mehmood’s 999 call and rescued the victim, who has since returned to Romania, from the back of his taxi.

Mr Mehmood will now be put forward for a commendation from West Midlands Police for his actions.

Detective Inspector Wes Martin, who led the investigation, said: “My officers worked tremendously hard to secure this conviction: they safeguarded the woman, liaised with officers in Romania, helped return her safely home and kept in touch while the case progressed.

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“It was this compassionate and sensitive response which reassured the woman and gave her the confidence to come back to the UK to give evidence.”

Anyone who knows of Enescu’s whereabouts is urged to contact Detective Sergeant Mircetic at the Public Protection Unit in Coventry by calling 101 or via Live Chat at WMP Online.

To give information anonymously, call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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