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Local trafficking case shows that we need to “open our eyes” says Oxford’s Euro-MP

Two men have been sentenced at Oxford Crown Court today to 12 years in prison for human trafficking offences.

 

Anastassios Papas, formerly of Iffley Road, Oxford, and Graham Cochrane, of Bicester, trafficked women from Romania into Oxford to become prostitutes serving clients in the city via an agency called 'Fun Girls in Oxford'.

Det Insp Simon Morton, who has led the investigation, said:

"This inv estigation started in January 2010 after we received a call from a man stating that he had ordered a prostitute but when she arrived she was very young."

"This was the start of a very complex, and long term operation, which saw the two men responsible for trafficking women into the country from Romania convicted."

Anti-trafficking campaigner and local MEP Catherine Bearder commented on the sentence:

"This case demonstrates that human trafficking is not a problem that affects other countries or just the big cities. It's happening in Oxford and Bicester and we all need to be vigilant and open our eyes to potential signs of trafficking."

"I'm proud to be working with the Oxford Community Against Trafficking (OXCAT) as part of the community partnership developed as a result of this case."

Linda Ludlow, Drug and Human Exploitation Strategy Coordinator for Oxford City council, said:

"Our community partnership is endeavouring to raise awareness and develop training for the organisations and agencies that may come in contact with these vulnerable individuals."

Catherine added:

"OXCAT provide advice on their website of signs to look for and I would advise anyone that suspects anything to report it to the police, call Crimestoppers or contact OXCAT."

"A number of victims were saved from a life of slavery and sexual exploitation in this case but there will be more out there and more can be saved. We all need to open our eyes."

"This is just the beginning of the fight against human trafficking in Oxford and our community partnership will continue to raise awareness and support victims.

"I encourage anyone moved by this case that wishes to join in the fight to contact OXCAT.

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