Pair Jailed After Admitting Human Trafficking And Prostitution Offences

A man and woman from Romania have been sentenced to two years in prison after admitting human trafficking and prostitution offences.

Ionut Ille, aged 34, and Ancuta Schwarz, aged 30, were detained three years ago as part of a joint investigation with Swedish police.

Ille was arrested in Romania and Schwarz was arrested in Belfast. They were taken to Sweden where they received custodial sentences and fines. After those sentences had been served, they were extradited to Northern Ireland earlier this year.

They pleaded guilty to charges of human trafficking, controlling prostitution and money laundering.
News Image
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.

"This operation has been made possible through a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) agreement between the UK and Sweden. Eurojust, the EU agency set up to promote co-ordination between member states in relation to serious and organised crime, partly funded the operation. The operation was assisted and supported by Europol. PSNI and Swedish police liaised with law enforcement authorities in Romania.

"Officers carried out an arrest and search operation in Belfast in April 2013 as a result of which 13 trafficking victims were rescued.

"Working with law enforcement colleagues in various parts of Europe, we believe we have halted the activities of an organised crime gang involved in controlling prostitution and human trafficking in Northern Ireland, Sweden and Romania."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 January 2020
Seven Arrests In £215m Laundering Probe
Around £215 million has been seized in the largest ever money laundering search and arrest operation in Northern Ireland. Seven people were arrested during Operation Shambala, which stretched across three counties on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 January.
03 September 2010
Suspected Brothels Raided In Belfast
Police have raided a number of properties in Belfast that are suspected of being used as brothels. According to reports, a small number of people have been arrested and a number of people, believed to be victims of human trafficking, have been rescued.
03 December 2008
Arrests Follow Human Trafficking Raids
At the same time as gardaí were today making six arrests following a series of raids on suspected brothels across the Irish Republic - the PSNI was also carrying out raids in Co Down. They have arresting a man in Newry after searching a flat as part of what has turned out to be a major British Isles-wide operation against human trafficking.
20 January 2020
Wayne Boylan: £10k Reward Offered Amid Murder Probe
A £10,000 reward for information has been offered on the first anniversary of the brutal murder of Wayne Boylan in Co Down. The 37 year-old was gunned down while enjoying an evening with friends in Warrenpoint on 18 January 2019.
27 January 2011
Sex Not Just 'In The City'
Prostitution is not confined to the cities - and certainly not just to Belfast - with over 60% of the police command units across Northern Ireland having reported cases involving 'street-walkers'. Justice Minister David Ford's new research has revealed that prostitution occurs right across Northern Ireland and is not solely an issue for Belfast.