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by on September 2, 2010

‘LILY’ – the key victim featured in Channel 4’s series on sex trafficking – was rescued not by a police raid but by a client in a Plymouth brothel.

Photo: Channel 4

That’s the conclusion I’ve come to after viewing last night’s episode of ‘The Hunt for Britain’s Sex Slaves’, which finishes tonight at 9pm.

Yet the programme makers have remained silent on the means by which Lily escaped the clutches of her captors.

Throughout the two programmes to date, victims’ testimony has been interposed with footage of raids causing viewers to link the two. Careful viewing, however, reveals Eastern Europeans among the women interviewed after raids on Thai brothels.

Channel 4’s ‘Lily’ is the same person referred to as Sue in this story by Carl Eve in the Plymouth Herald, published in February last year.

She was rescued by a Danish punter with the aid of his ex-wife shortly before the passage of new legislation which could have seen him fined up to £1,000 for having arranged sex with the trafficked woman.

Lily/Sue’s testimony is known to have led to the capture and successful prosecution of the trafficking gang, including Mee Wong and her daughter Lim Grace, who ran the Plymouth brothel from which she escaped. Both they and Vithool Gomart – who ferried women around the country – featured in police custody in last night’s programme.

They were among eight foreign nationals from Thailand and Malaysia sentenced to a total 26 years in February last year for their parts in the affair, in two court sessions reported by the Herald here and here.

Raids elsewhere, notably in the United States, have been found to further traumatise trafficking victims, complicating attempts both to aid them and to bring traffickers to justice. Less than one in five sex trafficked women dealt with by London’s Poppy Project arrive as a result of raids.

The Pentameter 2 raids themselves resulted in the convictions of no sex traffickers who forced anyone into sex work, according to Nick Davies in the Guardian.

Update [September 7]: See also Nathalie Rothschild’s excellent piece in Spiked On Line.


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