Crouch End man guilty of running sexual slavery ring

Gang members, including Rashid Ahmed, were convicted at Southwark Crown Court

Gang members, including Rashid Ahmed, were convicted at Southwark Crown Court - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

A Crouch End man faces jail for his role in a sex slave ring which saw women and ‘ladyboys’ trafficked into the UK.

Rashid Ahmed, 68, took regular trips to Thailand to find new sex workers, and rented properties in London to be used as brothels.

Victims were told they had a £32,000 debt to repay.

Ahmed, of Hermiston Avenue, was found guilty of two charges of conspiracy to traffic persons within the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and one of controlling prostitution for gain.

He worked alongside madam Nattarn Budcha, 35, and fixer Hammal Amiri, 27.

Budcha ran escort agency Asian Exclusive, which advertised ‘high class’ prostitutes, while Amiri ran the website.

Amiri was found guilty of the same charges as Ahmed, while Budcha - charged with the same offences - was cleared of one count of conspiring to traffic people.

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Jurors failed to reach a verdict on the second count of the same charge.

Some victims knew they would be working as prostitutes, but others were told they would be working as masseuses and cleaners, Southwark Crown Court heard.

When they reached the UK, victims had pictures taken for the gang’s website.

They had to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and would see up to 15 clients a day.

One told jurors she shared a flat with a “ladyboy” who would “take drugs and behave a bit weirdly”.

Another said she was trafficked into the country after working in a karaoke show in Thailand.

She was told she had to pay off £33,000 for being brought to the UK.

A third witness said she turned to sex work when a relationship failed.

Budcha, of Porter Street, Marylebone, and Amiri, of no fixed address, will be sentenced at a later date.