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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005, 13:03 GMT
Student guilty of sex trafficking
Gjerji Mungiovi-Cuka
Sentencing has been adjourned on Gjerji Mungiovi-Cuka
A 19-year-old student has been found guilty of trafficking a woman to work as a prostitute.

Gjergj Mungiovi-Cuka, 19, of Caldicot, denied trafficking the 21-year-old Lithuanian woman as part of a gang who "bought" her for 5,000.

The Cardiff Crown Court jury returned a majority guilty verdict on Thursday.

He will be sentenced with Akil Likcani, 20, who previously admitted trafficking and controlling a prostitute. A third man involved remains at large.

The court was told how the Lithuanian woman, aged 20 at the time, was brought to Cardiff from London by the Albanian gang - Mungiovi-Cuka, Akil Likcani and a third man, known as 'Benny' who has not been traced.

'Treated as commodity'

The woman, who was not named, told through a Russian translator how the men "bought" her for 5,000 after she was smuggled into the UK from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius in January this year.

Daniel Williams, prosecuting, told the jury: "She was treated as a commodity by a group of men and sold for 5,000. She was forced to hand over all her earnings to the men who controlled her."

Under cross-examination, the woman admitted she knew she would be working as a prostitute in the UK - she had previously worked as a prostitute in Germany, Spain and Lithuania.

Once in Cardiff, the court heard how she was forced to work at Cardiff brothels named as Executive Sauna in Whitchurch Road, No 19 in Bute Street and Abygale's in Woodville Road.

She told the hearing that she would begin work in the morning and continue until the early hours of the following day and would see up to seven clients a day, earning more than 500.

Abygale's massage parlour
Mungiovi-Cuka drove the woman to Abygale's massage parlour

The prosecution told how half the money went to the brothel with the remainder - more than 1,200 a week - going to 'Benny'.

Talking about her treatment by the gang, the woman told the jury: "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."

She also told how Mungiovi-Cuka, drove her back to Cardiff with the other men and that he would drive her to and from brothels.

New offence

During his trial, Mungiovi-Cuka said he had no idea the woman was working as a prostitute and said he believed the woman to be 'Benny's' girlfriend.

The court was told Mungiovi-Cuka had been smuggled out of Albania when he was 13 by an aunt.

When he arrived in the UK, he spoke no English and was quickly arrested by police. The court heard that he still does not know if his parents are alive or dead.

He has been adopted by a Cardiff couple, learned English and gained seven GCSEs. He is now studying for an NVQ in carpentry.

Jeremy Jenkins, defending, said: "This is a brand new offence and is without precedent in the law for England and Wales."

Akil Likcani, of Cathays, Cardiff, had already pleaded guilty to trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation and controlling a prostitute for gain.

Mungiovi-Cuka and Likcani are due to be sentenced together at a later date.

Judge Phillip Richards told Mungiovi-Cuka: "The starting point for sentencing will be custodial. You will be sentenced with Likcani who will definitely be facing a long custodial sentence."


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