Jail for couple who made £250k a year running huge prostitution ring
A couple who raked in almost £250,000 a year running a huge prostitution ring have been jailed.
Jamie Dunn, 42, and his girlfriend Catalina Cojocaru, 37, lived a luxury lifestyle after working with other members of their own family to bring sex workers to the UK.
The group arranged for mainly Romanian women to travel from their home countries and forced them to engage in off-street prostitution at brothels across the Midlands.
A court heard Dunn and Cojocaru began their operation in Northampton before expanding to Nottingham and Birmingham and making £20,000 a month.
Dunn placed online adverts on a sex worker website to attract clients and was also responsible for sourcing the properties that would go on to be used as brothels.
Cojocaru sourced women from Europe to travel to the UK as sex workers and would do the day-to-day running of the operations.
A court was told she had wanted women to “look their best” and, when requesting semi-nude photographs, would tell them to “look sexy” and wear make-up.
Police recovered lists and text messages that showed Cojocaru acted as the sex workers’ "boss", having daily contact with them and keeping records of daily takings.
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Evidence showed this amount was up to £1,640 per day of which the gang took 50 per cent from each woman between November 2015 and January 2017.
On one day, where £900 was made by seven women, she wrote at the bottom of the diary: “F*** me, I’m brilliant.”
Dunn's elderly father Martin Dunn, 74, was also involved in the plot as well as Cojocaru's brother Andrei Cojocaru, 26,
Martin Dunn paid for airline tickets for women coming into the UK, would help collect them from airports and even financed hotels and serviced apartments.
Andrei Cojocaru was found with 12 mobile phones, seven of which had the names of the sex workers written on the back so he knew which booking was for which woman.
He would engage with clients and direct them to the property as well as topping up mobile phones and collecting the trafficked women from airports.
Dunn and Cojocaru, who lived in the upmarket village of Lower Harlestone in Northamptonshire, where house prices average £900,000, were charged with trafficking women into the UK.
They both admitted two counts of conspiring to arrange or facilitate the travel of another person to the UK with a view to them being exploited for prostitution.
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Dunn was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison while Cojocaru was jailed for three years and nine months at Northampton Crown Court.
Judge Rebecca Crane said: “You exploited the labour of others for substantial financial gain and the business would have continued if it were not for police intervention."
Martin Dunn, of Northampton, was given a 12-month community order and 100 hours' unpaid work for acquiring criminal property after coming into a large sum of money following a house sale.
Andrei Cojocaru, also of Northampton, was handed one year in prison, suspended for 14 months plus 150 hours of unpaid work for conspiring to control prostitution for gain.
The convictions were the first modern slavery and human trafficking charges secured by Northamptonshire Police.
Det Insp Carrie Powers said: “This organised crime gang exploited vulnerable women with the false promise of a better life in the UK.
"Instead, they forced them to have sex with a large number of men with no regard for their rights or welfare.
“These women worked long hours, only to have a large proportion of their earnings taken by the gang which would then be used to fund luxury lifestyles."