Tayside and Central Scotland

Alleged Slovakian traffickers appear at Dundee Sheriff Court

Five people are to stand trial accused of human trafficking for allegedly bringing two women to Scotland "with the intent to exploit them".

The three woman and two men appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court accused of bringing two Slovakian women into the country.

Helena Kulova, Renata Kulova, Ali Raza, Ivan Balog and Lenka Svitokova deny the charges.

Sheriff Elizabeth Munro set a pre-trial hearing for Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the five had arranged travel for the two women with the intent of "exploiting them in the UK or elsewhere".

Helena Kulova, a Slovak national, is alleged to have "facilitated the travel to the UK" of one woman between 1 May and 31 May this year.

Facilitated movements

Ms Kulova, along with Renata Kulova, Ali Raza, Ivan Balog and Lenka Svitokova, are also accused of arranging for another woman to be brought to the UK from Slovakia.

It is alleged that between 28 June and 25 July they facilitated her movements in Slovakia and between Glasgow and Perth's railway and bus stations with a view to exploiting her.

Renata Kulova also stands accused of stealing identification documents belonging to two women at an address in Glasgow's Shawbridge Road between 28 June and 18 July, while Mr Balog is accused of assaulting one of the women at the flat between the same dates.

Ms Kulova, 47, Ms Kulova, 20, Ms Svitokova, 27, Mr Balog, 27, and Mr Raza, 20, denied the charges against them on indictment.

Lawyers for the five told Dundee Sheriff Court that the case, which is set for trial next week, had several preliminary issues that had to be dealt with.

Sheriff Elizabeth Munro set a hearing for Wednesday ahead of a trial before a jury next week.

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