Following a five-year joint investigation between the Metropolitan Police Human Trafficking and Kidnap Unit and the Slovakian police, the third trial in Operation Svanetia concluded with convictions across the board. Sarah Przybylska was instructed as junior prosecution counsel in the two earlier trials and as leading counsel in this final trial.
Jaroslav Slepcik and Svetlana Plachetkova acted together to traffick vulnerable Slovakian Roma women from Lunik IX, the Kosice slum where many Roma people live, to Kent. The women were sold by the defendants to men from outside the EU for the purpose of sham marriages. When the women proved reluctant to cooperate, Slepcik and Plachetkova conspired with their son, Simon Slepcik, to control them in prostitution. Simon Slepcik was also convicted of sexually assaulting one of the victims.
Jaroslav Slepcik fled the country before he could be charged and was extradited from the Czech Republic just in time for a joint trial. Operation Svanetia was one of the largest joint investigations ever undertaken between the Met and the Slovakian Police and is an outstanding example of international cooperation in criminal justice.
Sarah was instructed by human trafficking specialist Damaris Lakin of the CPS London Complex Casework Unit.
The defendants will be sentenced by HHJ Donne QC on Friday 12 May.