Organised crime gang used cattle prods and Tasers to protect their sophisticated £1million-a-year network of brothels across London
- Victim fled brothel, sparking police probe after she was forced into prostitution
- Guards used cattle prods and baseball bats to enforce security at the venues
- Three gang leaders and five of their underlings jailed at Harrow Crown Court
Ringleader Flavia Xavier-Sacchi (pictured) helped to pump Class A drugs throughout the network as well as overseeing prostitution
A gang of organised criminals who made £1million a year prostituting women through a sophisticated brothel network have been jailed for almost 40 years.
Eight members of a crime group that exploited sex workers across north London were sentenced at Harrow Crown Court.
A ninth is awaiting sentence after the Met uncovered the drugs and prostitution empire.
Ringleaders enjoyed lavish lifestyles including expensive cars, luxury holidays and jewellery before they were caged on Thursday, with their underlings using cattle prods and baseball bats to defend the vast enterprise.
Renato Dimitrov Sacchi, 43, from Barnet, north London, headed the crime network but denied involvement before admitting controlling prostitution for gain, possession CS gas and Tasers and being involved in supplying Class A drugs. He is now serving eight years and 11 months in prison.
Flavia Xavier-Sacchi, 23, also from Barnet, was described by police as belonging to the group’s senior level of management.
She admitted helping to supply Class A drugs and overseeing prostitution for a profit. She was jailed for eight years and seven months after initially denying charges at the trial’s outset on September 5.
Anna Prudente (left) and Keagan Boyd (right) were part of a criminal empire that exploited women across London and sold Class A drugs at brothels
Renato Sacchi (left) and Raul Sacchi (right) belonged the network’s top level of management and oversaw the control of a prostitution empire policed by thugs with cattle prods
Sentenced to nine years and six months, 49-year-old Raul Sacchi, from Soho, central London, maintained his innocence throughout the trial despite also being a part of the gang’s top tier. Detectives examined mobile phones seized from thegroup and discovered encrypted messaging. Raul Sacchi wrote in one group chat: ‘There is no such thing as tired girls. They’re there to work.’
A jury convicted him of controlling prostitution for gain and being involved in the supply of Class A substances.
Their co-defendants worked as brothel maids and security guards across venues in Kensington, Cricklewood, Kilburn, Kingsbury and Hangar Lane.
Police found stashes of cash after their raids on the gang, who are thought to have made £1million a year from their empire
Keagan Boyd, 34, of no fixed address, was handed two years and two months after admitting drugs offences and Henim Almeida, 25, is serving a three-year jail term for controlling prostitution, supplying Class A drugs and possessing CS gas and a Taser.
Tony Simao, 42, from Peckham, south-west London, will be sentenced at a later date after a jury found him guilty on drug supply and weapon charges.
Three other members – Maria Carvalho, Anna De Almeida Prudente and Antonio Miranda pleaded guilty to prostitution charges before the trial.
Officers recovered bundles of cash after a victim came forward to say she’d been forced into sex work
Carvalho, 43, from Hendon, north-west London, is serving a three-year sentence for controlling prostitution for gain, possession of Class A drugs and possession of criminal property.
De Almeida Prudente, 21, from Kingsbury, north-west London, was jailed for one year and two months after admitting controlling prostitution for gain and possessing criminal property.
Miranda, 34, from Edmonton, north London, is serving two years and six months for conspiracy to control prostitution for gain, being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and possessing criminal property.
Guards sold drugs and alcohol at the brothels, which were exposed when one woman told police the thugs had forced her to work over a two-month period. She escaped in April 2017, sparing an investigation.
Officers found 15 packets of cash during raids as well as charts laying out the structure of the gang, split into ‘leadership’, ‘security’ and ‘operator’.
Detective Inspector Dan Mitchell from Central Specialist Crime said: ‘This lengthy and complex investigation has dismantled an Organised Crime Group who were exploiting women across London for their own financial gain.
‘Through thorough examination of their devices, detectives found the group saw themselves as a legitimate business which they went to extreme lengths to protect. They employed and armed security guards, and maintained control over all communication between their so-called employees.
‘Individuals often are reticent or too afraid to come forward in modern slavery investigations, so it is our job to build a prosecution and dismantle OCGs like this with whatever evidence we can.
‘Detectives spent months using a range of tactics to build a case against this group of criminals, taking an evidence-led approach, to ensure they were convicted and brought to justice.
‘Anyone considering exploiting other human beings for financial gain should expect to face the same level of expert investigation and prosecution.’