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tv   Sex Slaves UK  MSNBC  December 25, 2011 6:00pm-8:00pm PST

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fall, 20112007, police in the united kingdom take the largest ever. their target brothels and those who supply them with women from around the world who are forced into sexual slavery. over the next few years, british police will collect evidence against traffickers. and with the help of one young thai woman who was trafficked --
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>> translator: the woman who brought me from thailand said my price was $40,000. >> they will bust up an international human trafficking network from the bottom right to the master minds at the top. >> fantastic. >> there was no doubt that the people we're dealing with here are very shrewd and confident business people. >> its code name, operation contaminatoor two. >> it shows a country making decision to attack human trafficking at a systems level. >> no, no, no! hello. the u.s. state department estimates that worldwide over 12
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million people are enslaved held against their will and forced to work for little or no pay often in the sex industry. over the last few years, the msnbc undercover series sex slaves in america has exposed human trafficking and the efforts to combat it here in the united states. in this program, we will go behind the scenes with british police and detectives. watch as they follow every lead, use every investigative tool to find and then convict the bad guys and yesterday bad girls involved in the sorted trade that is human trafficking. in october, 2007, the british cracked down across england, wales, scotland, and northern ireland. it was a closely coordinated effort to tackle the growing industry in women illegally brought into the uk for sex estimated to generate more than a half a billion dollars a year.
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operation contaminator two begins with smart police work. one of the lead investigators is detective andy lee of the gloucester county police force. >> we've got an interest in here. it's one of a number. this is a lady who judging upon what we've seen, she would appear to be in control of events surrounding the address. she's obviously waiting for something. if we move on a little bit of footage, she very quickly comes back into my frame. she's carrying two bags. and she's got a girl behind her who's quite clearly younger than her. she's got a suitcase. and it's exactly what i'd expect when a person is being brought to the premises for the first time. >> i would be comfortable saying at this moment that that lady is
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probably within a trafficking chain. she's been moved from one place to another. for the sole purpose of sex. >> with strong suspicions of sex trafficking, detective lee must move quickly and gather further intelligence before taking the case to his boss. >> it's my understanding this gentleman here is the guy that's currently renting it. >> he's hopeful they have informs about who's operating the brothel. >> he's a male. we're quite happy with that. have you met him at all? >> no, not personally. >> any correspondence is over the phone or written? >> yeah. >> is he paying by cash or is it standing? >> he paid cash six months up front. >> how much would that have been? >> it was 4,825 pounds. >> that's in cash? >> yes. >> is that usual?
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>> it's not the norm. >> okay. so the suggestion is that he's got a bit of money. >> yeah. a lot of money. >> the records show that the apartment is being rented to a man named shuyu wang. detective lee checks him out in the national police data base. >> the man who's currently renting the address, we know from our previous intelligence systems has rented a brothel, was enforced during the summer last year. >> we wouldn't build up if we were at a stage we thought we could go. our number one priority is to secure the safety of women who might be here. >> the brothel identified by detective lee is one of many that police have placed under close surveillance. in its first major action, operation contaminator two will
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get this brothel and several others. >> decided we're going to do four addresses wth cheltham. it would have been easier if we were going to pick them off a little and do one address then the second address. then you risk the organization getting to know that the police are doing enforcement activity. everything shuts down. coming up, the investigation swings into high gear. >> let's go. we're ready to go now. okay? we'll call for a strike then. more people do that, security would be like -- there's no charge for the bag. thanks. i know a quiet little place where we can get some work done. there's a three-prong plug. i have club passes. [ male announcer ] now there's a mileage card that offers special perks on united, like a free checked bag, united club passes, and priority boarding. thanks. ♪ okay. what's your secret? ♪ [ male announcer ] the new united mileageplus explorer card. get it and you're in.
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as operation pentameter two prepares for a big sweep of local brothels, police are learning from trafficked victims already rescued about just how prevalent human trafficking is in the uk. >> i never heard bad things about england, you know. you work waitress or you work babysit, you make good money.
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>> i hear only the promise of some form of paid work and that's not done for free. that's done as a debt to the person, the organization bringing them over. arrive here, then all of a sudden at some stage it's explained hang on, there isn't actually a job, you still owe us 5,000, 10,000 pounds or whatever it is, you owe us. >> in the town of bedfordshire, 60 miles north of london, officers jason duning and paul cook, working in concert with operation pentameter two are pursuing a new lead. a woman from astonia has agreed to be interviewed about how she was trafficked into britain. >> she actually flagged down a police car, said i need to speak to you. i think it's really important to find out what happened to these girls because you just don't know a lot of the time where
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their lives have taken them, how they've come into the country and what's gone on behind closed doors. this does smack of being a victimless crime in terms of you never see the victims, public never hear about them. half the time the police don't know this is happening. other than these girls coming forward, we've got no real means of knowing what's happened to them. so it's very important to find out how they've been trafficked and ultimately try and stop it. >> it's important that you're honest with us. about exactly what's happened to you, coming into england and what's happened since you've been here. and what happened back in astonia. i sat in the room next door, just listening to what's actually happening. >> when i got to london i realed that i actually had to be a prostitute here.
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i was in the street. one girl answered me and she said i know one place where to go. it's in luton. she took me to another prostitution house. and when she was bringing you to luton? was there a discussion what you would be doing? >> she told me that it's going to be like house cleaning. >> so how many clients were you expecting to have? they tell you how much to charge them? >> there were prices. minimum 40 pounds. just sex, 50 pounds. oral job, 50 pounds. you know, like this. a price list. >> selling human beings can be easier and it's definitely more profitable than selling drugs. if i had a hundred pounds of drugs in this room with me right now, i would have had to procure
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it, i would have to hide it and then when i sold it all, i would have to replace it over and over and over again. and that is a guaranteed strong sentence against me because of our drug laws. if i have a 100 pound slave in this room and i'm good at what i do and i terrorize her enough not to come forward, you will never know and i get to resell that person over and over and over again. >> in this country, we spend as much in an entire year to fight the traffic in human beings as we do in a single day to fight the traffic in illegal drugs. that's not to diminish the relative horrors of smoking pot but it is to say which is the more monstrous crime. is it a 15-year-old being sold for rape on a street corner or is it a 15-year-old selling pot on the street corner. >> but in britain, this lack of a major commitment to fighting
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human trafficking is about to take a giant leap forward. in cheltenham, police are planning a major bust. the operation will be complicated, requiring great coordination. nothing will be left to chance. >> what i want to do is take one caller away from the normal terrace address which will act as a trigger for the others. when we go for normal, we will go for all the others at the same time. we are expecting at least two girls at those premises. if those girls are clearly victims or girls that have been working as prostitutes, i want them treated with some dignity and some respect but we will afford them the protection of a victim status and treat them as victims as long as they cooperate. okay. >> to build a strong case, the
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police are hoping to find victims, customers and the managers when they come through the doors. a tall order. detective lee's role is to be the eyes and ears on the ground. it's up to lee to choose the best moment to launch the operation. >> the subject premises is just down there on the right. it's the target down there. okay? >> lee will be covertly watching the properties from an undercover surveillance post. >> okay, team. it's looking good. we've got -- have we got -- i've got channel 53? >> they're up. >> phones?
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please open line four in position. >> four, one and two in position. >> you ready, two? stand by, then. wait. >> wait. someone's just outside. >> with the equipment and the police in position, detective lee spots a customer, or as they say in britain, a punter leaving the brothel. >> okay. as they go past each other, the chinese girl, and speak to this guy, he goes back to the house. she goes into high street. >> right. >> if we don't move soon, the punters will disappear. >> let's go. we're ready to go now. we'll call for a strike then. we'll go all four. let's go all four teams. it's a strike, strike, strike.
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>> mobile, strike, strike, strike, please. >> empty. >> police! put your hands together. hands together! stay where you are. more people, please. stay where you are. no, no, no, no, no. hands, hands, hands, hands! >> open the door. >> open the door. open the door. >> get yourself dressed. >> police officer. >> at least one punter inside.
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>> just confirmed there's one customer and one girl on the premises. >> yep, as noted. >> okay. okay. i'll just stand there. >> the women found in the brothels are offered refuge but there's no sign of the criminals who are running the brothels. >> superintendent alex drummond gets a lead from the undercover team. they have spotted a woman they recognize from some earlier camera surveillance. >> there's an oriental female in a brown jacket that is the madam from normal terrace, we suspect. she'll be heading back towards the top end of the road.
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can you go get her? middle-aged lady in a brown jacket. she's the madam. we want her arrested. >> this lead may be just the breakthrough the police need. a chance to arrest a member of the trafficking gang and take a first step up the criminal ladder. a chance to start unraveling the network. coming up -- a potential customer learns the hard way that his favorite brothel is closed. >> i won't beat around the bush, all right. the premise is used as a brothel. my interpretation of what you've been there is probably you going there.
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across britain, police are expanding the scope of the investigation. the aim is to climb up the criminal ladder from the brothel managers to the actual masterminds who are importing sex slaves into the country from eastern europe and asia. the raids on brothels in the town of cheltenham resulted in a roundup of trafficked women and customers, but none of the brothel's managers. but the police's luck is about to change. >> middle aged, brown jacket. she's the madam. we want her arrested. >> go down there. >> the undercover surveillance team is looking for a woman seen leaving one of the brothels just before the raid. >> female noted. lower high street.
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>> they suspect she may be part of the brothel's management. >> i'll hold on to a mobile telephone and seize that as an exhibit. >> under questioning, the woman identifies another suspect, greg blackhorse. blackhorse has been under surveillance for two weeks. police think he's the owner of one of the brothels. he's arrested at his home and brought in for questioning. >> hello. you have been arrested as part of operation pentameter two. suspicion of operating a brothel for purposes of prostitution. okay? do you understand why you've been arrested? >> could you give me the details?
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we need your name. >> the decision is to charge. >> half a dozen other suspects are arrested at six other targeted properties. >> send the next one in. >> you have been authorized for detention here. >> but outside one of the brothels, a man seems to think that it is still open for business. >> right. you've rung the doorbell twice. you've seen an officer come from the kitchen and you turned around and left. so that itself seems suspicious. >> no, no. not suspicious at all. i come up this alley right here. >> okay. no problem. what i want to do is take you around the corner. i'm going to get some details from you. i've got one here.
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i won't beat about the bush, all right. the premise is used as a brothel. >> yeah. >> my interpretation of what you've been there is probably you going there. if that's the case, what i would like from you, we can be discreet about this because we're all men, that's the type of thing we like. there's a phone number where we can contact you at work and i would like a statement from you just to say that if you are using this as a brothel, that's fine. be how you make contact and if you phone someone up and how much you pay, or what's going on. that's all we're interested in. >> any information, including from this former client, could prove crucial to the investigation. at the time of operation pentameter two, buying sex wasn't illegal in the uk so the police couldn't make an arrest. >> if you're caught as a buyer of sex in america, you might pay a fine, you might just be let go, your car might be impounded and fined, and maybe you'll go to jail for 24 to 48 hours.
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it is rare for something else to happen to you. if you're a seller of sex, you're going to go to jail, more likely than not, and if it's been multiple times, you will go to jail for even longer. >> detective andy lee is at one of the brothels in cheltenham where they have yet to track down any of the management. he is looking for clues as to their whereabouts. >> keep an eye. >> we see plenty of documentation, i.d. cards, maps with addresses in london circled on them. >> we know the people that control the strings for the chain, they hide themselves, they use different names, they use aliases, they deliberately play on the southeast asian spelling of their names. so looking from our point of view, it's very hard to pinpoint exactly who these people are. >> coming up -- a chance encounter leads to a big break.
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>> i'm not happy with your stories. based upon evidence i have, i'm arresting you both on suspicion of the management of a broth el.
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a very good day to you. president obama made holiday calls to troops important this christmas. calling to which them a happy holiday from hawaii. he calls two service members from each branch of the mill tab. and the 100th day since protesters began demonstrations in zuccotti park in new york city. their day including music, a prayer service, and the reading of a martin luther king speech. we'll have more news for you. now back to msnbc undercover. with little luck finding the
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people who are running the brothels, detective andy lee is about to head back to the police station. >> a woman just walked past with a gentleman, stopped here and then went along just behind this bus and was making a call. a chinese lady, according to the cameraman. >> a member of the camera crew has spotted a couple acting suspiciously, and shares it with detective lee. >> whereabouts are they now? >> behind the bus. walking there. those two. >> oh, yeah. >> go, go. >> get them, get them, get them, get them. >> hello. stop. sorry. my name's andy. i'm a police officer. are you from cheltenham? >> no. >> whereabouts you from? >> i'm from [ inaudible ].
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>> right, okay. what about yourself ma'am? >> it's my husband. >> oh, is it? >> yeah. >> okay. >> detective lee recognizes the couple from surveillance footage. he thinks they could be managers of one of the brothels. >> do you know anybody along this street? >> no. >> you don't know? you don't know anybody? >> no. >> can i ask what you're doing here? >> shopping. >> have you got a car nearby? >> yes. >> you parked up there? okay. which shops have you been to today? >> this one. >> slippers. >> i tell you what. step over this way. my name is andrew lee. i'm a detective constable from cheltenham police station, okay?
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i'm not happy with your stories. based upon evidence i have, i'm arresting you both on suspicion of the management of a brothel. you don't have to say anything. anything you do say may be giving evidence, okay? so at the moment in time you're both under arrest on suspicion of management of brothel, okay? you're being cautioned. that caution applies. you are under arrest. i explained to you. i'll carry that. i'll carry that. i'll carry it. slow down. slow down. >> i'm not -- i'm not. >> can you just take a seat in there? sit down. >> speaking to them, they were both evasive. >> we've already got photographs. >> i suspect she's probably the
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brothel manager. >> we've already got photographs, possible photographs of her. >> while the police find nothing linking the woman's husband to the brothel, they detain the woman for further questioning. under british law, she can be held for 24 hours without charge. with no time to lose, the police must sift through a mountain of documents to build a strong case against her and some of the other recently arrested suspects. >> this is where we're into sort of lightning mode with exhibits now, having a quick look through. some of this will have to be done more in depth in slow term but we're actually looking through what have we got that links this woman to the offense, what have we got that's significant to both of those addresses so we're in the best position to be able to charge those people by that time limit. >> it's all hands on deck. the police have to work through the night to build their cases
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and bring the maximum charges against the woman and greg blackhorse. >> what we've got to be conscious of this morning is trying to get all the interviews coordinated, start pulling some of the evidence that we've got and interviews so that we can make a decision, have we got sufficient to charge the people at the moment, do we need to release them on bail while we make further inquiries or is it that we've got insufficient evidence to connect them with the investigation and we have to consider releasing them without charge. >> a detailed examination of greg blackhorse's bank account provides useful insight. >> yeah. looking through the financial stuff, the exhibits seized down there, it looks like he's been banking between 4.5 to 6,000 pounds a week has been coming out of those premises and getting banked. he's certainly paying all the
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utilities on the account. >> yeah. for normal terrace? >> for normal terrace, yeah. so he's heavily financially linked to that address. >> so that's 150k, 200k a year, then. small dwelling house in cheltenham back street potentially earning 200,000 pounds a year, tax-free. >> yeah. that's money laundering. >> okay. game on. >> large sums like this are what makes human trafficking an attractive and very profitable business for criminals. >> it's really important that we follow the money and see where the money's going to and coming from at its core. that's what human trafficking is about, making a profit. >> greg blackhorse isn't the only one who might be making a fortune from prostitution. >> where are we looking with chen? is she just a manager that's been running that? >> during her interviews, the woman claimed she was unemployed but an examination of her bank
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account tells a different story. >> two days in december '05, 13,000 pound in cash at the local bank in morton. >> that's a weekly basis beginning the past year. 300, 400 pounds. >> one week, two weeks over the last 18 months or so, there's probably something in the region of over 100,000 pounds going through that account. which isn't bad for a lady that's unemployed. as we suspected, the warrants and the evidence from the searches is giving us a much wider portfolio of crime. we're looking at money laundering, looking at the turnover that they put through these accounts.
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so if we just charge it now and deal with the brothel as we said yesterday, that will all disappear. we'll never see them again and they will set up somewhere else. if we're going to stop them and hit them hard, then we have to take their assets off them. >> the large sums changing hands suggest to superintendent drummond and his team that chung could be managing more than just one brothel. she might be one of the big fish they have been looking to catch. >> she is probably involved in the management chain quite clearly. >> yeah. she could be perhaps in the position whereby she's the manager of a number of outlets. >> there's a suggestion she moves around, isn't there? >> yeah. she could be a regional manager. >> regional manager. absolutely. >> meanwhile, the police decide to give her husband a get out of jail free card. >> his involvement is probably nothing until he met her. so he started out in life as a punter and caller to the address and he's fallen in love. he's fallen in love with her and from the interview, it would
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seem that they went to paris. he took her to paris on a romantic weekend, and she asked him to marry her. yeah? you've got her using him there. and she's now using or their marriage is an application for full uk immigration status, which is under constant review and from indications in the interview, she's only staying there -- >> a periodic basis. >> a few nights a month. >> i'm not, i'm not. >> despite her persistent denials to the contrary, the evidence gathered by police seems to place her at the center of a network of british brothels. now one of the women rescued from a cheltenham brothel is revealing to police details of how she was trafficked. >> the information we got from one of the girls, she came to the uk on a freight ship. she paid 100,000 of her local currency, about 6,000 in sterling, and she came across on a freight ship in a room with five others. she's ended up in london where
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she's got contacts through chinatown and she's told us that she's been moved around doing small odd jobs, doing cleaning, working in some restaurants and at the end of the week, when it's payday, they say well, your work hasn't been good enough, we're not going to pay you and they will move around to do some other manual work somewhere else. it's part of that chain which will then eventually force them into they've got no option but to go into a life of prostitution. that's what's going to be what you're living while you're here in the uk. >> i didn't know what it was. trafficking. i didn't know at that time. i didn't wake up one day and say oh, yeah, what am i going to do today, i'm going to be prostitute. >> police! stay where you are! >> too often, we go in to a situation like a massage parlor and we find that women, girls, don't have their papers and we immediately process them for deportation. that is playing into precisely the threats that the traffickers
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have made against those victims. they are told if you go to the police, you will be processed for deportation and when you get back to your home countries, we will take our due. >> i'm not for sale. i'm not for sale. it's not just me. there's plenty like me that have been used. they're scared to say it. i was scared to say it. i was very, very scared. hundred and hundred and hundred have been abused. nobody helped them. nobody helped them. >> coming up -- the young woman trafficked out of thailand agrees not only to talk, but name names. >> translator: a woman brought me here. i didn't know i was going to be sold. she took the money and gave the buyer my passport.
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following a series of raids on brothels across the country, british police are moving on to the next stage of their operation. they are seeking to identify and arrest the higher-ups who are trafficking women from asia and eastern europe to work in british brothels. many of the victims removed from the brothels had been too frightened to talk. however, in devon in southwestern england, one woman who we will call lily has been brave enough to come forward. she was part of a massive international trafficking network that stretches around the world. one of those working hard on lily's case is sergeant ian tomlinson of the devon and
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cornwall police force. >> she entered into a contract in thailand some weeks previously. her family had paid 10,000 pounds for her to come over to she thought it was ireland she was going to to work initially in the restaurant trade. but the victim told us she was flown by abu dhabi into dublin and from dublin by train to belfast and from belfast, a quick hop over to england. >> translator: a woman brought me here. i didn't know i was going to be sold. she took the money and gave the buyer my passport. they said i had a debt and that i had to work to pay it off. >> lily, who came from thailand, told police that the international human trafficking network illegally brought her and other women to brothels across the united kingdom.
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the first people identified by lily are a mother and daughter team. they were managing a brothel in plymouth, where lily was forced to work. police follow up lily's lead. >> it's a lady by the name of mi-tieng wan, a malaysian lady we have already interviewed, and also, her daughter called grace lim. they are running a small network of brothels and they are involved in trafficking young girls to staff these brothels, thereby facilitating their movement for the purposes of prostitution within the country. >> based on lily's detailed testimony, the two women are brought in for questioning. now sergeant tomlinson and detectives jones and clement go to the police station to make the arrests. >> mary, if you can just -- let's get straight inside.
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>> you're going -- >> both of you. i'll talk to both of you. >> just listen to what i'm going to say. i'm arresting you now on suspicion of human trafficking and being involved in the management of a brothel. >> we searched their home address and found numerous documentary exhibits that link them to other agencies and to other brothels, and telephone numbers within the network around the uk. those pieces of paper and documentary exhibits will be put to them for comment during interview. in the case of grace lim, she has been shown a number of them already and has made comment about them in the negative, and since then, we have been able to show that she is actually responsible for producing those items. so she will be questioned further. >> lily tells the police that she was held against her will in
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their brothel, and terrorized by the mother/daughter team into having sex with men. >> translator: they refused to give my passport back. the trafficker said that if i tried to escape, or told the police or the thai embassy, they would come after me. they said my parents back in thailand would be in trouble. i couldn't cope with that. >> the victim was stating that she was held there against her will and that she received no money. she was having up to four to five clients a day and that meeting one was taken the money. she was told she had to do everything the client said and if the client complained, she would become very aggressive with her. >> the police now believe the daughter, 19-year-old grace lim, is just as deeply involved in the trafficking network as her mother.
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>> i think she's equally as culpable as her mother. >> yeah. >> she's very wise for her years. >> yeah. >> and she's made efforts to try and encourage other people involved in the network to tell lies to help her mom out while her mom has been remanded in custody. we have evidence of text messages sent asking people to become witnesses to try and help prove her mother's account. the good thing was that she commented on some things that she was obviously comfortable with so when she was asked, for example, about her bank account, she was quite happy to sit there and say i've got a bank account, there's no money in it, feel free to have a look. but when you ask her questions in relation to the trafficking, and the management of the brothel, she closes right down. >> the crown prosecution service or cps which will prosecute the case has approved the evidence offered by sergeant tomlinson and his team. they agree that there's a strong case against the two women. the police are now in a position to press serious charges. >> grace lim will be charged
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with the management of the brothel at taunton and wong will be charged with two further trafficking offenses. wong is liable as a principle of be jointly charged with two further traffics offenses. wong is liable as a principal of the worst slave offense. i feel quite strong about it. >> coming up -- police identify another person of interest involved in trafficking lilly. >> as far as trafficking is concerned, he is as bad as they get. get the technology they love, on the network they deserve. and video chat with up to 9 of your friends with the galaxy nexus by samsung, or get the samsung stratosphere, and for a limited time, get twice the data for the same low price. verizon.
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devon and cornwall detectives have just arrested a mother and daughter team for trafficking the thai victim, lilly. they're now following leads that take them to london in pursuit of a woman they think is laundering the money for the traffickers. >> we are just rounding up the street to the thai airlines building there. we've got inquiries to make with a lady by the name of bisco. we don't know the level of this lady's involvement at the moment. we've got enough grounds to arrest her if we need to. >> they suspect she is the banker for the masterminds trafficking women like lilly out of thailand. >> it looks like she is ahead of us.
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>> initial questioning confirms bisco's involvement in the trafficking. she's arrested and taken to a london police station for further questioning. meanwhile, police seize bank records at her home where they're examined by financial investigators. >> i've been through the computers now. there is spreadsheet upon spreadsheet upon spreadsheet of moneys moving in and out of country. she is the money lady dealing with transactions for individuals working at different brothels around the country. >> what sort of money are we talking about, roughly? >> 480,000 over 18-month period. >> the investigators find evidence that bisco is running a so fistcating money-laundering operation. >> it appears it is like family members who are sending the money back to. i'm still not utterly unconvinced they are not with drawing the money by cash, bisco, and she is buying jewelry
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and antiques, or whatever, because there are lists of diamonds and jewelry and gold that she buys. it appears, that they could be buying jewels and then taking them out of the country. >> further investigation reveals that bisco deposited almost $2.5 million. this is equivalent to proceeds from at least ten trafficked women. in the sex trafficking economy, it is estimated that traffickers can make more than $200,000 a year from just one woman. >> translator: the woman who brought me from thailand said my price was $48,000. the buyer then tried to bargain with the price. they said, $48,000 was too much. and asked her to reduce the price.
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she refused to reduce the price, so i was sold for $48,000. >> as more trafficked women confide in the police, the scale and horror of this modern day slave trade is being revealed. the devon and cornwall police identified a man the a the heart of lilly's ordeal. >> it looks more an more like this individual, gomart is the next one up the chain. moving the victim around the country and trafficking her, taking her to various brothels and delivering her to different places. if you listen to the victim, she was told she would be working in the restaurant trade. so, yeah, as far as trafficking is concerned, he is as bad as they get. >> he is also known by his alien, tu. >> tu is a driver who thinks the girls surrounding in brothels in london and the rest of the
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network throughout the country. >> "operation pentameter's" approach is netting results. >> they know that specifically sex trafficking is a problem in their country and they decided to go after it by way of mapping it. not just stopping with the initial arrest of one buyer or perhaps one manager after brothel. but really trying to connect all of the dots to see how women and children are brought into britain and exploited in this way. >> coming up -- after some smart police work, the woman who sold lilly at a london slave auction is found and arrested. >> fantastic. bang on, chaps. that's what we are looking for.
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>> welcome back to msnbc undercover, sex slaves, uk. "operation pentameter 2" a nationwide effort is making good progress. local police forces working in close coordination are climbing up the criminal ladder to first identify then capture the people who are bringing in women from asia and eastern europe to work against their will in british brothels. the next person in their sights, a man by the name of shu, yu, wang. two months after the original police raid on one of the brothels, it reopens for business but under the ever watchful eye of the police. >> yes, yes. >> the police allow the brothel to reopen in order to gather
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additional evidence against the man they believe to be the owner shu wu wang. they also suspect he is a key player in britain's international network. they have been using the extensionive closed-circuit tv network to secretly track wang's activities. >> she's the one that went into the -- >> she is banking now. >> yeah? >> they think the woman has been depositing woman from the brothel into shu yu wang's account. >> she has been going to the bank. putting money in an account in cash, which is common to what they do, if it is not her account, she put a
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phone call into the main, in the organized crime group to say, i have deposited that money and it is definitely in the account. because i've just checked. if it's been credited to that account, she will put a phone call in. so i guarantee you will see a phone call go on. >> police are gathering a clear picture of how the network operates. but they have yet to track down their number one target, shu yu wang. >> so this picture that we got, somebody purporting to be shu wu wang? >> that's the best photo of this stage of the male purporting to be wang with that date of birth. >> detective lee uses the national database to gather more information on wang. it puts him at the center of an even larger network than police first thought. >> we've got, a-1 rated intelligence, and he is active. not jest in chethenham, but also active in cardiff, and
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but in bristol area and active all the way down to guilford. >> despite the intelligence, shu yu wang is illusive but lee has a break through. painstaking cross checking reveals that wang is enrolled as full-time student at six different british universities. >> we think he is going from one university to another. in order to legitimize his role as a student. for a student immigration visa. so he is abusing that system by use that course. so he is taking somebody else's place on that course. he is just not attending, but he will use that to his justify being who are to immigration. he will say, actually i'm a student. >> wang is using his student standing to avoid time limitations of his immigration status but now detective lee hopes to turn the tables and track him down at one of the universities. >> i've got an interest in a character i think may have a connection to your business school. there may be a pupil there. okay.
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surname is wang, w-a-n-g. first name is s-h-u-y-u. i've got a date of birth. that's it, yeah. okay. thank you very much. i'll speak to you shortly. bye. that was interesting. it would appear that wang is currently a full-time student at university of evening angular. >> on further investigation, detective lee discovered that not only is wang attending the university, he is also living in a student dormitory. after months of investigation, the police may finally catch the man they suspect of supplying dozens of women to british brothels. >> coming up -- investigators make a house call. >> you're under arrest on
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>> four months into their nationwide crack down on sex trafficking, police from glosershire county are on their way to england's east coast to arrest man they think is a key player in trafficking dozens of women to brothels across the country. >> the point of today is to execute a warrant in a room within the residence of the university. the subject that we will be seeking today is a gentleman by the name of shuyu wang. >> the police are hoping a dawn raid on his dorm will catch wang
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fast asleep in his bedroom. it has taken the police months of work to get to this door. >> hello? >> the police. >> mr. wang? >> yeah. >> you're under arrest. my name is dc thomas. you are under arrest of suspicion of involvement in a brothel. february of last year and this year. don't say anything you don't have to say anything. it may harm your defense. do you have any clothes on? >> can i just -- >> have you got any clothes on? >> yeah, i have clothes on. >> what are your plans for today? anything you need to organize. >> some reading. some work. >> take a book with you then. >> one minute millionaire. >> yeah.
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>> dc lee. >> how are you? >> detective lee gets a call he's been waiting for. the one confirming wang's arrest. >> spot on. >> with shuyu wang locked up, they can now put the next phase of the operation into effect, a full scale raid on his reopened brothel. >> mr. wang? >> he will be kept out of communication to prevent him from tipping people off, effectively. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to the briefing. for those of you involved last time, it'll be a similar operation. a premises identified which we have established as being used as a brothel, which has been using girls who are very strongly suspected to be illegal
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immigrants who have been trafficked into the uk and have been kept for the purposes of prostitution and moved around the country to serve as uk brothels. fortunately when we did the warrants on the 4th of december, the person organizing the trafficking and arranging for the financial issues, we missed. we have worked quite hard the last few months. we have now identified him and he is a chinese national organizing all of the financial and all of the operational side behind the brothel you will be doing today. he was arrested this morning at about 7:00 on university campus there. >> so what is jim? jim, don't bother holding station on forward deployment. go straight in. strike. over. >> okay. >> top, stop, stop. >> don't move.
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stay where you are. >> you all right? >> yeah, fine. >> male and female? >> male and female. >> on the second raid of wang's brothel, two women, most likely trafficked, as well as a customer hiding in a closet. >> premises is secured. we will start identifying rooms and then start moving around. everything is under control. >> the police seize cell phones, several with shuyu wang's number in them, along with passports
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and financial records. there is clear evidence of shuyu wang's involvement in a large trafficking network. >> the brothel is closed down for the second time. after a six-month investigation, glosershire county police have closed down the operation for good. one of the victims rescued from his brothel is a 15-year-old girl. she tells police she was trafficked from china four months ago. as in all such operations, please will provide counseling. this is a key component in any effort to right the wrongs of human trafficking. >> you can't underestimate the need for victim services at the moment of raid.
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both for the victim, him or herself, need for her to be stabilized, feel empowered. but also if we have all of these other goals. if you don't have the victim stabilized and empowered, how will that person participate in the investigation and prosecution? >> another continuing focus of "operation pentameter 2" is in devon and cornwall. there, please are eager to apprehend the criminals responsible for trafficking the thai victim, lilly. >> officers ian tomlinson and rob clement, believe that gomart is one of those responsible for her trafficking. >> the information we've had is that two specifically ordered our victim, identified her and wanted her to be brought over from thailand. >> as with many suspects in the human trafficking investigation, police have had a hard time finding gomart. he always managed to stay one step ahead. but now they are in london, armed with a dozen possible addresses, linked to him. >> it's not easy to stay on the
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run for any definite amount of time. we've circulated with him, so if he comes to notice of the police or trying to leave the country on those details, that he will be stopped and arrested. >> sergeant tomlinson gets a call from a colleague that supplies a promising new lead. >> hello, andy. >> there is a new telephone number. he's also known to have had it within the last three weeks. >> deep joy. all right, mate. super. i will give you a call later on. thanks ever so much, guys. that's interesting because of the inquiries we have turned up from the address today. it pairs we have a new phone that was active up to three weeks ago. so we are going to get that
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subscribed now. to find out if there is a registered people for the phone that may take us back to an address. i will give kevin afternoon sioa ring and see if he wants us to give the direct approach and sorry to ring you up on your day off, but hello, we would like to speak to you. >> the question i need to ask is, in all likelihood, he is going to find out very shortly we've got that number. at which time if he flees or throwing it in the thames, we are no further forward. the other option is for me to ring him up and see if he wants to come in. yeah, he will. i really do think that he will bing that number the moment he finds out. okay. >> tomlinson has the go-ahead to call gomart and see if he will agree to meet with him. it seems a long shot.
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coming up -- sunday in the park with gomart. >> hello, it's the police. can you speak to me mr. gomart? >> he's hung up? >> dead. [ male announcer ] what's the beat that moves your heart? how about the beat of a healthy heart? campbell's healthy request soup is delicious, and earned this heart, for being heart healthy. ♪ feel the beat? it's amazing what soup can do. because for every two pounds you lose through diet and exercise, alli can help you lose one more by blocking some of the fat you eat. let's fight fat with alli. ♪
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>> devon and cornwall police have an away game here in london was hard on the trail of a man they think is major player in the uk sex trafficking industry. and the man believed to have trafficked the thai victim, lily. a recently discovered cell phone number may offer an opportunity to flush gomart, alias, tu, out of hiding. >> hello? >> hi, is that tu? tu? this is detective sergeant ian tomlinson. i need a chat with you at some point. are you going to speak to me? hello? it's the police. can you speak to me, mr. gomart? >> he's hung up, has he?
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>> it went dead. hello, is that tu? hi, mr. gomart, this is dsc tomlinson. i need to speak to you. please. over some matters. i would like it meet you as soon as possible, please, if that's all right. do you know where the serpentine is at hyde park? yeah. i will go there and find somewhere suitable where we can have a chat. all right, cheerio, then. bye-bye. bye. well, well. there you go. he says he's going to meet us in hyde park. so we need to -- yeah, he assures me he will be here. but he might have just bought himself an hour's thinking time,
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really. he could be en route to buy himself a false passport and be half out the country. but we will just come in here for a second mate. just come in here somewhere identifiable. that's where i've been before, car park, down by that lake. right. okay. >> hello? >> hello, mr. gomart? >> yes. hello, tomlinson again. i said i would ring you back with a better location in hyde park. >> when i go there, i call you again. and you can come to pick me up or something. >> okay. are you traveling by car or on foot? >> no, because i don't have a car. >> oh, you don't have a car. i do apologize. >> no, no, no, no car at all. >> right. i can pick you up at a tube station if that's any good. >> okay, yeah. when i go to the tube station somewhere, yeah and then i call you and you come to pick me up. >> yes, no problem. >> okay?
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>> the police have set a trap for gomart and are hoping their low-key approach will lure him in. if he does show up, they feel they have more than you've evidence to convict him. >> it is frustrating. >> he's just rung me. he is at marble arch tube station. he said he will cross the road and meet us outside the mariott now. happy with that? let's go.
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>> it's been four hours since the police first spoke with gomart. it's looking like he's a no-show. then suddenly -- >> now then, you're a difficult man to find. >> why? why? >> what you need to understand is, as you know, we've been looking for you for a long time and we know a lot about you. so we will know when you are telling us the truth and when you are not. >> i'm not scared. i'm a good person. and i can help. i try to help everyone. >> okay. >> gomart's willingness to meet with police speaks to an
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important problem with law enforcement and human trafficking. >> regardless of his criminal activities, you would think he would least be concerned about his immigration status. but the fact that he actually showed up i think shows the degree to which traffickers, human traffickers, still operate with total impunity in our society. >> they don't feel that they are going to get in trouble for this. when you feel that you are not going to get in trouble, you're not going to hide it. coming up -- "operation pentameter 2" nets its biggest fish yet. >> police officers, stay where you are. >> in here, in here.
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msnbc now, tomorrow is expected to be a big shopping day as people rush to spend their gift carts. the week after christmas counts up to 10% of holiday sales. this is a scene at new york city. look at that, thousands squeezing into the plaza to get a glimpse of the tree on christmas. it's illuminated for 24 hours straight. unusually mild weather in the
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new york area has also brought the crowds out on this days. now back to "msnbc undercover." see you in a bit. >> devon and cornwall police are in southampton, it is where the "titanic" sailed from in 1912. today they are seeking a woman, alias, bar. she is suspected of buying women at uk slave markets and supplying them to british brothels and one of her purchases may have been lilly. >> the name bar has been floating around in the air for quite a while now, ever since our victim was recovered. so it would be nice to put a face to the name.
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>> after several unsuccessful raids to find bar. this address seems promising. all hopes rest on this newest lead to her whereabouts. >> police! >> stay where you are. >> stay where you are. >> in here, in here. come in here, now! stand still. there has been a warrant. what is your name? sorry? >> just relax. >> hello, there. my name is tomlinson. i'm a detective from cornwall. down quite a long way away from here. but we have some questions we may need to ask you about this premises. and about your status in the
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country. okay. at this moment then i would say to you that you don't have to say anything but it may harm your defense, if you don't answer one question, anything you do say may be given under evidence. okay? >> fantastic. bang on, chaps. that's what we're looking for. yeah, that's her. superb. superb. all right, thanks, chaps. >> the way she behaved in the premises when officers went in there, she was desperately trying to get to a telephone, to alert someone or to delete information within it. yeah. i think we've got our girl. >> finally, after six months and
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numerous raids across the country, devon and cornwall police managed to find and arrest bar, a slave trader responsible for buying women at auction. including potentially lilly. back in glosershire county, police are focusing in on another and more sophisticated trafficking ring with links back to china. >> the organization here, behind the crime groups seems to be much swifter, much quicker, organized. they have gone through four premises in less than three months. >> this gag appears to be operating a nationwide network of brothels and moves their locations regularly to confuse the police. >> i think if you compare that with the other two known groups, they've been at a much lower level. they have taken a lot more time to get organized, their management chain hasn't been so good, has it? you are looking at a much more professionally organized outfit here. >> detective andy lee believes
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this new network has links to a major organized crime syndicate and is headed by a known criminal. >> i know that he was born in 1959. he is chinese national. he is here, i believe, at the moment legally. he has previous convictions and previous arrests. he is an active member -- or an active person connected to the triad, chinese crime community. >> zu has been particularly illusive so detective lee is relying on his extensive camera surveillance operation to find him. >> we have had a covert camera concealed within a particular premise for about a week now. this is the view to the entrance to the underroad brothel. that's the address, that comes to the steps, car parking area, main road. >> detective lee identified the
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man he thinks is managing zu's business. they're hoping he will eventually lead them to zu. in shades of big brother, the police use cheltenham's closed circuit video network to track his every move. >> sure, he's moving. yeah. >> we've got him now on our means. >> the man appears not only to be depositing the brothel's earnings but is seen on camera entering the local newspaper office to place an ad. >> he's running a business. and any business has to advertise because otherwise people wouldn't know it's there to offer its wears. to offer its wares. coming in.
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he's got to run his business. that needs to be advertised. to do that, he's you know, got to go into newspapers, he's got to go on to any form of media that accepts that type of thing, the internet is another one that these people will use. >> as suspected, zu eventually returns to cheltenham. detective lee and his team make the arrest. >> do you want a telephone call? >> yeah. >> go into your cell. shoes off. >> basically we have 24 hours from the time someone gets
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arrested, and and bring them to the station and for more serious case that can be extended to 12 hours taking us up to 36. if we want to keep them in custody for longer than that we have to go to the magistrate's court. >> they get the full 36 hours but with only 12 hours left, the pressure is on to gather enough evidence to hold zu. >> we will be looking at getting two maybe three sets of interviews into him this morning and this afternoon. >> if police fail to convince the crown prosecutors to keep zu in custody they will have no choice but to release him with the fear he will skip the country. >> they need almost every minute they've been granted but finally they present their case to the crown prosecution lawyer. >> so basically, what you are concerned about is remand in custody and remanding custody is
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on the basis of failing to surrender substantial fair due to the fact of his nationality, status and the fact he hasn't complied. >> his address has given, the membership is not his. >> that seems fine, doesn't it? >> after a tense 36 hours, the police have the results they wanted, zu is charged and a crucial link to human trafficking in china has been broken. >> coming up -- one of lilly's traffickers is arrested in thailand. >> what sentences are they likely to receive? >> if she is found guilty she is looking at about 20 years. [ male announcer ] what's the beat that moves your heart?
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>> british police have developed a better understanding of how the network that trafficked the victim known as lilly operates in the uk. >> i'm surprised at how we've managed to unravel it, let me put it that way, because it is frustrating. everybody seems to have about four different names. >> but trafficking is an international crime. and operation pentameter 2 is now traveling from britain to thailand. a major breakthrough by the police has brought one of the investigative teams from devon and cornwall to bangkok. >> we have managed to break up the uk network and the thai police in breaking up the thai network in bangkok. >> since safely returning to thailand, lilly has been working with the royal thai police. information she has given them led to the arrest of a woman named jay ju.
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she is identified by lilly as the woman who trafficked her from bangkok to london. devon and cornwall police meet their thai counterparts at children and women's division known as cwd and learn something terrifying. >> so that they reported that someone similar to jaju 's description was threatening her, and so the cwd officers -- [ speaking foreign language ] -- they got immediate orders to go to the hometown in that area and contact the local police and have them work on finding 0u9 out where jaju was. and so when they went up there, they saw that jaju was walking around under that area. and so they brought her in for questioning. questioning her background. and they also brought a picture for the victim to look at. [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> translator: and when picture of jaju was brought to the victim, the victim affirmed that that was jaju. you can see a picture, the picture in the lower left corner is actually when she was arrested. her arm -- her arm's injured but not due to the arrest by the police or the cwd. >> if i can ask, if convicted, what are the offenders in the thai case, what sentences are they likely to receive? [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: right now, it's in court proceedings. and if she is found guilty of forcing someone or deceiving someone into prostitution, then she is looking at about 20 years.
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>> jaju's arrest has brought to light the scale and reach of this international trafficking network. supplying the brothels across britain and also the u.s. and other countries. >> jaju visited japan, australia and america. then it is almost certain that they traffic girls into those other countries. so it is a truly global enterprise that those females are involved in. so i think ourselves and the thai police have played a significant role in preventing further victims. >> in the u.s., we have both u.s. citizens and foreign nationals as victims of human trafficking. the trade routes into the u.s. are varied. we have worked with clients from the middle east, southeast asia, mexico, central america, southern africa, west africa, who are involved in both labor trafficking and sex trafficking.
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>> i think i was always fairly confident that we would be successful to the offenders in the uk but to think now that with the thai police, we've got the offenders and the real organizers here in thailand, they've got them locked up as well and they are looking at significant sentences if convicted. no, i never thought we would get this far. one of the things we hope to achieve through this investigation is to show these traffics in thailand that it won't be tolerated in the uk. >> the police now successfully pieced together the puzzle of many of those involved in trafficking lilly. >> the whole process starts by an individual in thailand targeting a vulnerable family, who have a daughter who wants to travel to the uk and offering them finance. once that finance is taken off them, he puts that -- the
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victim into contact with the traffickers. we've got the whole network here really from the managers of the brothel here, to the people facilitating transport. we've got the buyers. we've got the traffickers from thailand as well. and somebody who is sorting out the proceeds and money-laundering as well. >> in order to secure convictions in britain for all of these involved in lilly's case, it's essential she positively identifies her traffickers. for her own safety, lilly is now in the witness protection program in thailand. but in an incredible act of bravery, she agrees to return to the uk to help identify and convict her traffickers. >> i was quite surprised that she actually would agree to come back. she has no reason to support prosecution. but she seems still very determined in the fact that she's going to still support us, which is a very positive thing.
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>> it is a big day for our inquiry. a big chunk of evidence. the identification evidence. >> so as not to be accused of influencing lilly, officer tomlinson and clement can't be there at the identification process. >> just give us a call. >> the first procedure is for gomart, where she will be shown -- the victim, will be shown a series of images, and asked to identify the person she knows as tu. hopefully she will pick out gomart. if she doesn't, then it could cause us problems. it is an important one, the first one, it will set the tone for the whole of this week. >> gomart is the man they believe is responsible for delivering lilly to various brothels around the country.
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>> we put an awful lot of work into finding him. there was a lot of inquiries made. so we were tracking him and we were quite pleased when we finally did. so it would be good now to get that identification. >> if lilly doesn't positively i.d. gomart, the team won't have enough evidence to convict him and will have no close but to see him walk free. >> can i speak to you? >> yeah. >> in private rather than in the can teen. >> yes. >> she's positively and clearly identified gomart. when i asked what did he do? she says, he is the one who drove the girls around. >> did she i.d. him as the man called tu? >> yes. >> good. >> couldn't ask better than that. excellent. >> lilly is shown photographs of all her traffickers and positively identifies each member of the gang. and now, almost a year out from her ordeal, she is also given
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the police a much fuller view of what actually happened to her. coming up, "operation pentameter 2" starts to wind down as lilly opens up. >> she has told us that she was drown in a bath of water when she told one madam from a brothel that she wanted to leave. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis,
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devon and cornwall's investigation into the trafficking of lilly has proved to be one of "operation pentameter 2's" most successful cases, aung one that allowed police to get insight in how this shameful industry works. >> it was pretty much a cattle market. there were a number of people present and basically it's opened up to anyone who wants to buy this girl. bar says i'll buy her, 30,000.
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the deal is done. >> she was only in the country for just over three weeks, when she was rescued. although it seems a relatively short space of time, you've got to take into account the strain of it, and on each of those days, if those three to four weeks, she's been forced to have sex with 10 to 15 men a day against her will. >> what lilly reveals next proves just how sophisticated this sex trafficking network is. >> while in thailand she was given a number of women called may porn, who she could call this woman if it didn't work out with bar. she rings the number and tu picks up the phone. at which point he is es i will get you money transformed by western union, so he sends money
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to get a ticket train ticket down to london. on arrival there, she's told that she's going to plymouth to work for malaisian madam, and she said i came from the claws of the tiger into the mouth of the crocodile. >> translator: i couldn't bear it any longer. they lied and took advantage of me. they said you're in this country illegally, so you have no choice. you have to do what he tells you. >> it's almost worse what gomart has done than chu. chu brought her here, and having escaped, he forced her back into proust tulgs to make money for himself. >> during her three weeks she was subjected to both physical
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and mental abuse, not only at the hands of hadder captors, but also from the customers. >> she's told us that her head has been held tunneled, drowned in a bath of water when she told one madam from a brothel that she wanted to leave. one of her customers insisted on putting bits of metal inside a condom which caused her internal injuries and bleeding afterwards. also being hit by a leather belt by certain customers. >> i think one of the reasons we are reluctant to criminalize the pool of buyers and reluctant to name who they are, they have they fantastically anonymous titles. punters in uk, johns in the u.s., they're creating the demand for these traffickers. >> this is one victim, but she was raped, held unlawfully against her will. it isn't just that one victim.
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it's other victims. you'll find brothels and victims in every town in england and wales. >> the supply of human trafficking victims is only expanding. >> according to the u.s. state department, the global recession over the last two years has exploded the number of slaves in the world today, exploded the number of people who are trafficked. many of these people want to move from point a to point b, but what they don't sign up for is the slavery that happens at point b. >> please, stay where you are! >> when it was all over "pram pentameter 2" became the biggest crackdown against international sex trafficking in british history. in all, british police rescued 164 victims, and arrested 406 suspects. 67 people were charged with trafficking in human beings. operation pentameter 2 also
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supplied a successful template for other countries interested in stopping human trafficking. >> in pentameter 2, they were able to engage all police offices nationwide. that's not something we can do here in america with the ease that they did. however, you do see in the u.s. the fbi making multijurisdictional approaches to combatting sex trafficking. >> it took three years to convict the criminals featured in this program. >> this type of crime we found has to be dug out. you've got to go looking for it. once you start looking for it, it will escalate and snowball. >> for me, i think the big issue now is what do we do post-pentameter. if we just walk away and leave it, then we'll be needing another pentameter 3 in a few years' time.
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there's no doubt the people we're dealing with are very shrewd and competent business people. ♪
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since 9 end of "operation pentameter 2" 24r have been no other coordinated national operations in britain to combat sex trafficking. all the police officers featured in this program returned to their normal duties. meanwhile, the multibillion dollar human trafficking business continues to thrive both in britain and around the world. human rights advocates charge that law enforcement didn't do enough either in america or in other countries to fight it. "operation pentameter 2" and its success is more the exception than the rule. for msnbc, i'm natalie morales, thanks for watching.


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