Six people from West Bromwich & Smethwick jailed for modern slavery offences

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Three men and three women have been jailed for modern slavery offences in Smethwick

Six people have been jailed for nearly 25 years for conspiracy to control prostitution and running a brothel.

The three men and three women operated at addresses in Smethwick and advertised on escort websites offering women for the purpose of sexual activity for money.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Their operation came to light when one woman who was forced to work for them, managed to escape and report to police what had happened to her. She has been brought from Romania under false pretences in November 2020 at the age of 18. She was first taken to a house in Arden Road and later another house in Parkes Street, which was being run as a brothel.

The woman, who was subjected to threats, violence and coercion, was made to work 16-18 hours a day, with the majority of her ‘earnings’ going to the group who controlled her. In January 2021, the woman managed to escape and raise the alarm. She was safeguarded and an investigation was immediately launched.

Buduru and NicolaeBuduru and Nicolae
Buduru and Nicolae | WMP

The suspects were identified from social media and a series of warrants were carried out at the properties in Arden Road and Parkes Street with a number of mobile devices seized and the six arrested. Online adverts for sex workers were linked to the devices and those arrested, with pictures of the victim taken in a bedroom at the Parkes Street house.

Further interrogation of the mobile phones revealed messages discussing logistics of moving another woman between addresses, controlling money and even contact with another woman in Romania urging her to come to the UK.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Profira and BusteanuProfira and Busteanu
Profira and Busteanu | WMP

The six defendants pleaded guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 21 June and were sentenced on Friday (December 15) as follows:

  • Silvia Mimi Buduru, aged 48 from Hydes Road, West Bromwich – four years and six months
  • Florin Nicolae, aged 39 from Hydes Road, West Bromwich – five years and five months
  • Alexandra Ifrim, aged 34 from Parkes Street, Smethwick – three years and 10 months
  • Leonard Culmici, aged 34 from Arden Road, Smethwick – three years and two months
  • Mariana Profira, aged 46 from Arden Road, Smethwick – three years and 10 months
  • David Busteanu, aged 22 from Arden Road, Smethwick – three years and two months
Ifrim and CulmiciIfrim and Culmici
Ifrim and Culmici | WMP

What has West Midlands Police said?

Investigating officer DC Harry Carley said: “Faced with the wealth of evidence we had against the six defendants, I am pleased they decided to plead guilty and saved the victim the ordeal of a trial.

“We also found that Nicolae had already served four years in prison in France from 2014 for controlling prostitution using violence and coercion. Modern Slavery can be a very hidden crime and often people brought into the country feel they have nowhere to turn for help.

‘The public can help by looking for the tell-tale signs, such as several people staying in houses coming and going at all times of the day and night.”