The Scotsman writes:
Police have vowed to eradicate human trafficking after securing the first sentencing for the crime in Scottish history.
Stephen Craig was jailed for three years and
four months for arranging travel, accommodation and advertising for 14 women.
His co-accused, Sarah Beukan, was jailed for a year and a half for her part in his human trafficking network.
Frank Mulholland called it a landmark case , while Detective Inspector Stephen Grant said it should act as a warning to others who are involved in this abhorrent way of life that we are coming to get you .
BUT... then proceed to describe the case further explaining that
Sheriff Sam Cathcart accepted that no pressure or force or threat was directed at any of the individuals involved.
The 23 sex workers involved with Craig's business were from Brazil, Bolivia,
Nigeria, Fife, Glasgow, Inverness, Airdrie and elsewhere in the UK. Craig had no part in bringing in the girls in from abroad.
In fact is believed the prostitutes were previously working independently as sex workers before being recruited by the pair.
Craig merely arranged accommodation and travel for the girls to work in his business. Pre-paid credit cards were used to transfer money and pay for the rental of properties, so the women would not carry cash when they travelled. They also provided
accommodation for them to work from, put advertisements in newspapers and online.
In return for this, the sex workers gave Craig a reasonable one third of their earnings.
Craig and Beukan had been running four brothels in Glasgow, at Argyll
Street, Wallace Street, Newton Terrace, and Clyde Street. They also ran a brothel in Aberdeen, at James Street, and one in Queens Square, Belfast.
But the prosecutors had the last nasty words:
Cathcart told Craig and Beukan there was no alternative to custody. He said that, by their actions, they had exerted control, direction or influence over the movements of the women, but accepted that no pressure or force or threat was
directed at any of the individuals involved.
DI Grant, of Strathclyde Police, said that Craig and Beukan were despicable individuals . Human beings are not products which can ever be bought and sold, and this will never
Frank Mulholland, QC, said: This is a landmark conviction for human trafficking in Scotland and represents the success of close working between police and prosecutors across the UK.
Offsite Comment: Is there really a sex-trafficking epidemic?
10th October 2011. See
article from heraldscotland.com
Last week Stephen Craig and Sarah Beukan, the first people to be convicted of human trafficking in Scotland, were given the short jail sentences of 40 months and 18 months
For many of those who followed the case -- which exposed a vice ring that moved prostitutes round the country, between brothels in Glasgow, Belfast and Aberdeen -- it seemed a puzzling conclusion.
In the lead up to the sentencing there were reports of threats and intimidation; a police debriefing described how one witness said Craig had threatened to pour boiling water down her throat . But last Monday, based on the
facts provided to him by the Crown, the presiding sheriff stated that there was no pressure, force or threat on the women. Rather, the pair pled guilty to, and were convicted of, arranging travel, accommodation and advertising for around 15
It was an offence that was hardly, as Ken Waddell, the solicitor for Stephen Craig points out, what most people consider to be trafficking.
...Read the full
Update: Fined £ 45,000
19th July 2012. See
article from scotsman.com
A man convicted of running a brothel (with an unlikely sounding link to trafficking) has been ordered to pay £ 45,000, the Crown Office said.
Lindsey Miller, head of the serious and
organised crime division of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, said: Stephen Craig took part in a criminal prostitution operation that spanned the United Kingdom. Today's confiscation order for £ 45,000 represents the full
amount which is available to us at this time from Stephen Craig.