Romanian man and woman sentenced for human trafficking offences

NewsBy Jamie McDowell
Ionut Ilie and Ancuta Sachwarz
Ionut Ilie and Ancuta Sachwarz

A Romanian man and woman have been jailed after admitting human trafficking and prostitution offences.

The PSNI's Human Trafficking Unit has said detectives welcomed the sentences.

The Sunday World has previously spoken to one of the victims of the pair who said she was abused and beaten and forced to have sex with hundreds of men.

The pair had been jailed in Sweden for attacking women and forcing them into prostitution.

Ilie Ionut, 34, and Ancuta Schwarz, 30, were detained three years ago as part of a joint investigation by the PSNI and Swedish police.

Ionut had been arrested by police in Romania with Schwarz being arrested in Belfast.

Both were taken to Sweden where they were fined and given sentences before being extradited to Northern Ireland earlier this year when they both pleaded guilty to two counts of controlling prostitution for financial gain, trafficking a female victim out of the United Kingdom and conspiring to remove criminal property to Romania.

Schwarz also pleaded guilty to a charge of removing criminal property from Northern Ireland, namely £4,178.91, through Western Union money transfers to Romania.

Today the pair were each sentenced to two years.

Detective Chief Inspector Douglas Grant, from Serious Crime Branch, said: “This was a joint operation, codenamed Burgrave, involving the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Swedish police which investigated the activities of an Organised Crime Group suspected of involvement in controlling prostitution and human trafficking in Northern Ireland and Sweden."