Two men and two women were found guilty of charges relating to the operation of brothels and the transportation of foreign nationals they exploited as prostitutes.
At the High Court in Glasgow today (10 Nov), the four were sentenced to a total of 31 years and four months.
Each will further be subject to Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Orders, restricting their activities for five years after their release from prison.
Jagpal Singh, 52, from Glasgow and his girlfriend Donglin Zhang, 49, a Chinese National seeking leave to remain in the UK, were assisted by architect, Vlassis Ntaoulias, 33, originally from Albania, in the running of brothels in residential flats.
The jury heard that one Chinese victim was brought to Glasgow on the promise of paid employment, only to find herself forced into prostitution by Singh and Zhang.
They took her to a property rented by Ntaoulias where she was locked in and compelled to work as a prostitute for the pair, seeing as many as 10 customers per day.
Another Chinese woman described how she was taken to the same flat after Singh, working with other men, arranged for her to be brought to Scotland from London.
Singh told her she would make him money and forced her to work as a prostitute.
Neither woman spoke any English. They were transported between various addresses in the Glasgow area with payments being made to their captors. Each managed to escape with help of ‘clients’.
A police investigation uncovered another brothel at a city centre flat being run by Zhang and Ntaoulias.
Communications between the two revealed they had been organising the trafficking, transportation and exploitation of Chinese women – and other nationalities - as prostitutes.
Ntaoulias’ Glasgow flat was subsequently searched and almost £39,000 in cash recovered.
A fourth accused – Thai national Boonsong Wannas, 63 – previously pled guilty to charges relating to human trafficking and brothel keeping.
The court heard that Wannas had arranged for a Thai national to come to Glasgow and profited from her exploitation as a prostitute at three locations in Glasgow operating as brothels.
Following today’s sentencing, Laura Buchan, Scotland’s Procurator Fiscal for Specialist Casework said:
“The accused sentenced today 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 the city of Glasgow.
“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 with our colleagues in the Glasgow Human Trafficking Unit, Police Scotland and Tara (Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance).
“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.”