A married couple has been convicted after they forced a Chinese woman into sex slavery to pay for her husband’s gambling debt.
Wai Tsang, 52, and Wenwen Pan, 40, were found guilty on Thursday of conspiracy to commit human trafficking, controlling prostitution for gain, and possession of criminal property for gain, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Friday.
Their crimes came to light after a Chinese woman in her 30s attended Kensington Police Station on July 23, 2019, and told officers that she had been trafficked to England from China and made to work as a prostitute.
The woman said she came to the UK because her husband owed a gambling debt in China. She agreed to travel abroad because those who were chasing her husband over the debt were also chasing her.
Her husband told her that his “friend” would collect her from London Heathrow Airport and that she would be provided with food and accommodation.
She landed in the UK on Dec. 5, 2015, and was met at the airport by her husband’s “friend.” She was taken to an address where the man raped her and took away her travel documents.
It was then made clear to her that her husband had sold her and she had to make money for the people who now controlled her by having sex with men.
She was taken to other locations and had to provide sexual services, sometimes with up to 10 men a day.
For a period of time, the victim stayed at an address in High Street Kensington. This property was managed by a couple, later established to be Tsang and Pan.
Pan arranged the clients and Tsang was the main driver who drove the victim to outcalls, which is when she was taken to clients’ houses or hotel rooms. The victim was also told to sell drugs to clients.
The victim was also threatened with violence and she was told her family would be killed if she tried to escape.
PC Sam Bhangu, from Central West area’s Sexual Exploitation Team, said that Tsang and Pan “had absolutely no regard for the wellbeing of the women they controlled.”
He commended “the huge amount of bravery” shown by the victim, who “found the courage to go to the police, which freed her from Tsang and Pan’s toxic grasp and now sees them facing a lengthy stint behind bars.”
Tsang and Pan will be sentenced on Jan. 22, 2021.