Gang jailed for trafficking women to brothel flats in Glasgow and Edinburgh

A Chinese crime gang that trafficked vulnerable women to work in brothels in Glasgow and Edinburgh as part of a prostitution network have been jailed for a total of 20 years and nine months.

A Chinese crime gang that trafficked vulnerable women and forced them to work in brothels in Glasgow and Edinburgh as part of a lucrative prostitution network have been jailed for a total of 20 years and nine months. 

Qin Huang, 31, Guolei Huang, 35, and Xiao Min, 38, were sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow after pleading guilty to charges under the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act between 2018 and 2021. 

Guolei Huang, 35, pled guilty to a charge of keeping, managing or assisting in the management of a brothel. 

Each offence was aggravated by the connection of each accused to serious crime. 

Qin Huang was imprisoned for eight years, Guolei Huang was jailed for four years and three months and Min will spend eight years and nine months behind bars. 

They ran their sophisticated prostitution scheme from a number of flats in Edinburgh, Glasgow and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. 

But they were convicted following a joint Police Scotland and Home Office investigation, which uncovered the huge scale of their operation and established “significant financial proceeds” had been accrued from their crimes. 

Moira Orr, who leads on homicide and major crime for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), said: 

“These three individuals ruthlessly exploited vulnerable women for their own financial benefit without any regard to the suffering they caused.   

“Women were trafficked into Scotland to be used as prostitutes and moved around residential properties across Glasgow, Edinburgh and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. 

“This was a sophisticated and significant criminal network who arranged, recruited, and facilitated prostitution and which also involved the transporting and harbouring of women to work as prostitutes.  

“These are truly despicable crimes and I wish to commend the victims for their courage in speaking out and ensuring these individuals were brought to justice. 

“The preparation and successful prosecution of these accused was a truly collaborative effort between colleagues in the COPFS Major Crime Team, Police Scotland’s Human Trafficking Group, and the Home Office.  

“Our prosecutors at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service will use every tool at their disposal to secure justice in all such cases – and I would encourage any victim or witness of similar offending to report it and seek support.”    

The court was told that Qin Huang’s role was the daily management of the trafficked women – most of them from East Asia - to provide sexual services to clients in the Glasgow area, managing the properties which were used as brothels as well as overseeing the advertising of sexual services on adult websites. 

Guolei Huang was a “minder” whose principal function was to escort and manage the women while they acted as prostitutes. 

Min’s role was to supervise the renting of several properties in Glasgow and Edinburgh for use as brothels and provide false documents to landlords to hide the true nature of the accommodation. 

The prosecutor told the court that five women who were brought to the UK by the gang from East Asia. Two were in debt in China, another was recruited after being approached in a casino, while a fourth had her passport taken from her before she was set up as a sex worker. 

The court heard how £200,000 had been spent on adverts on one adult site advertising the sales of the accused’s trafficked victims. 

In February 2020 police learnt that a flat in Glasgow’s east end was being run as what was described as a “Chinese brothel”. 

A police raid on the premises revealed it was set up for the provision of sexual services.  

A subsequent investigation then identified more brothels in Glasgow and Edinburgh operated by the three accused.