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Disappointment at payback order for sex traffickers

Campaigners today told of their disappointment after two people traffickers were ordered to pay back a tiny amount of their ill-gotten gains.

key_fighttrafficking.pngOXCAT (Oxford Community Against Trafficking) said profits from trafficking should be seized and spent on the campaign to stop human exploitation.

Anastassios Papas and Graham Cochrane ran the Fun Girls in Oxford escort agency, which offered Eastern European women for sex in hotels and clients' homes.

They were jailed for a total of 12 years in October after both being found guilty of a string of charges, including trafficking women into the UK.

However, the Oxford Mail today reported Papas has been ordered to pay back £1,706.65 following a Proceeds of Crime Hearing at Oxford Crown Court.

It emerged during last year's trial Papas had earned more than £99,000 from his sick enterprise, while Cochrane - who must pay £50 - benefited by £2,769.

Esther Davidson, from OXCAT, said: "It is very disappointing that more of the ill-gotten gains of the Oxford traffickers could not be seized.

"It is only right that the profits of trafficking should be ploughed back into the fight against this kind of human exploitation."

Catherine Bearder, a Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East, said: "It seems like a paltry sum. But these men are merely the tip of a huge trafficking racket.

"They are the little men and we need to work to get the big players who are running the operations. This requires cross-border cooperation and a European joint investigation team."

Catherine also appealed to people who use city prostitutes to wake up to the impact of the problem.

She added: "There are 'punters' who now must know they were buying these victims. Perhaps they should offer something towards a charity which cares for victims?"

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