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Last Updated: Friday, 11 November 2005, 17:26 GMT
Court told of forced prostitution
Gjerji Mungiovi-Cuka
Gjerji Mungiovi-Cuka denies a charge of sex trafficking
A Lithuanian woman has told a people trafficking trial how her work as a prostitute was controlled by men who had bought her for 5,000.

The woman, 21, told Cardiff Crown Court she was forced to work in three city brothels by an Albanian gang who threatened to kill her if she ran away.

Gjergj Mungiovi-Cuka, 19, of Caldicot, is accused of trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation.

He denies the charge.

A second man Akil Likcani of Cathays, Cardiff, has already pleaded guilty to trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation and controlling a prostitute for gain and will be sentenced after the trial. A third man known as 'Benny' remains at large.

Abygale's massage parlour
Abygale's was one of three premises the woman worked in

The court has heard how the Albanian men bought the woman in London for 5,000 after she was smuggled into Britain from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius in January, by a man she knew only as Nick.

The woman, who had been working as a prostitute in Lithuania, was brought to Cardiff and forced to work in three brothels - Executive Sauna in Whitchurch road, No 19 in Bute Street and finally Abygale's massage parlour in Woodville Road.

Giving evidence through a Russian translator, she told the court that the man who arranged for her to come to Britain told her she would be working in a bar or a shop when she arrived.

Akil said he would come and take me and then kill me
Unnamed Lithuanian woman

"He said to me the girls that work in England are very happy. They go to the clubs, they go to the discotheques and they earn lots of money and they are not worried," she said.

When prosecutor Daniel Williams asked the woman whether she thought she would be working as a prostitute, she replied: "No, I didn't think I would be working as a prostitute."

Later, under cross-examination by Jeremy Jenkins, defending, she admitted she did knew the nature of the work she would be undertaking.

When asked why she told the court she thought she would be working in a shop or a bar, she said: "I wasn't told (about working as a prostitute) immediately."

When Mr Jenkins asked her if she flew to Britain to increase her earning as a prostitute, she replied: "Yes."

She also admitted in court to working as a prostitute in Spain before arriving in Britain.

Earlier the woman told the prosecution that she would begin work in the morning and work until 0400 or 0500 BST the next day and would see up to seven clients a day, earning more than 500.

Her earnings, she said, would then be split between the establishment and either 'Benny' or Akil Likcani.

Threatened

"In the beginning, they were very good to me. After a month or two that changed," she said.

"They threatened me every day, but I was too afraid to run from them. They told me they had friends all over the country who would track me down."

She added: "Akil said he would come and take me and then kill me."

The woman told the court that the defendant Mr Mungiovi-Cuka, drove her back to Cardiff with the other men.

She said he knew she was working as a prostitute and that he had taken her in his car to and from the three brothels where she worked in the city.

He denies this and told police that he regarded her as 'Benny's' girlfriend.

The trial continues on Monday.


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