Glasgow & West Scotland

Human trafficking trial: Woman says she was sold for £10k

High court in Glasgow
Image caption A 24-year-old woman told the High Court in Glasgow she was sold to a man for £10,000

A Slovakian woman was sold for £10,000 to a man in the city centre of Glasgow, a court has heard.

The 24-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she was handed over to a Nepalese man outside Primark in Argyle Street in 2014.

The High Court in Glasgow heard the man bought her clothes from the store and took her to his home.

The woman was giving evidence in the trial of four people who deny human trafficking charges.

Vojtech Gombar, 61, Anil Wagle, 37, Jana Sandorova, 28, and Ratislav Adam, 31, are accused of trafficking women into Scotland for prostitution and slavery.

Prosecutors allege that women were brought over from Slovakia and held in "slavery or servitude" between 2011 to 2017.

The woman said she was brought over from her home town of Trebisov, Slovakia, when she was four or five months pregnant "for a better life."

She told prosecutor Kath Harper one of the accused, Mrs Sandorova - who she knew as Janke - was there along with her husband Rasto and the Nepalese man who was called Nel.

'He thought I was his wife'

The woman said: "They were speaking all about the money and then they left me with him."

A witness statement given by the woman in May 2015 was shown to the court. In it she said: "She wanted me to bring some money in and then she sold me for ten thousand."

Ms Harper asked: "After the money was paid you were just left with Nel?"

The mother-of-two replied: "Yes, Nel took me to Primark to buy clothes and then to his home."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The exchange was allegedly made outside Primark in Glasgow's Argyle Street

The witness said she did not want to stay with Nel.

"He wanted me to stay with him. He wanted me to sleep with him because when they sold me he thought I was his wife," she said.

"I told him I wanted to get away from him and he said he'd paid money for me."

The woman told the court she did not go to police through fear of harm against her, or her family in Slovakia.

She said she stayed at Nel's home for a month and claimed he locked her in when he went out.

She added: "Nel didn't treat me very well. He constantly wanted to sleep with me all the time."

'She wanted me to earn money'

Ms Harper asked the woman: "Did you want to sleep with him," and she replied: "No, because I was pregnant at the time. I was worried and very unhappy."

The woman said that she eventually jumped out of a window when Nel was out and took a taxi to Sandorova's house.

The witness also claimed that prior to allegedly being sold, she was made to sleep with Pakistani men for money and described this as "hitchhiking."

She added: "I don't wish to talk about it, it makes me very sad."

Ms Harper asked: "What did Janke want you to do?"

She said: "She wanted me to hitchhike so I would earn money."

The witness was asked who she would give the money to and replied: "Rasto in the morning."

All four accused, who live in Govanhill, Glasgow, face trafficking charges. Mr Gombar, Mrs Sandorova and Mr Adam are also charged with compelling women to work as prostitutes and managing a brothel.

The trial before Lord Beckett continues.

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