The harsh reality of Romanian sex trafficking gangs – Matei Rosca

Love Wapping is pleased to be able to publish a guest post by Matei Rosca who lives not that far from Wapping and immediately responded to our first story regarding the Romanian gang organising prostitution in Green Bank.  Matei has very kindly offered to help our community by sharing his knowledge of this problem.

Matei considers that even from what we know now the Green Bank prostitution is being run by an organised crime group of Romanian origin.

By day Matei is a specialist finance reporter who works in Canary Wharf by day writing about the banking sector but has a wealth of knowledge about Romanian gangs gained through his previous work as a freelance journalist. The views expressed below are Matei’s and not that of his employer.

Matei has worked for the Guardian (UK), Hot News (Romania), Gazeta de Romania (London), Huck Magazine (UK), Private Eye Magazine (UK), ITN Productions (UK), Pando Daily (USA), Vice (UK), and others.

“From my past experience researching Romanian gangs I know that the way it generally works is these young girls are coming from very poor families in Romania, and they are at first attracted by the money and the cars and the macho attitude of the pimps.

A wonderful life – for a while

The women start romantic relationships with the pimps. They travel abroad together, they go shopping and clubbing and for a while it seems like a wonderful life.

It is only then that the pimps persuade them to become prostitutes.

Many at first do so willingly and share their earnings willingly but over time the men start asking for more and more money, they increasingly manage their lives and their clients and pressure them to keep selling their bodies.

In the end it turns into exploitation, modern slavery and sex trafficking, especially when organised groups of men are involved.

In Spain, France and Italy the phenomenon is more widespread than in the UK.

Indications of human trafficking in Wapping

It’s sad to see indications of human trafficking happening in Wapping, and although it’s not entirely clear yet if we are seeing modern slavery or if these guys are just driving the girls around out of friendship, the group looks like an organised gang.

Romanian sex trafficking gangs are among the most violent in the world and their abuse of women is often extreme.

Women who have escaped such gangs tell of rapes, beatings, being forced to have abortions, being tattooed by force, being given drugs by force and being held captive for long periods of time.”

Many thanks to Matei for his help and advice on this subject. You can contact him via his website here.



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