Man convicted over immigration and human trafficking offences
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An offender used a false identity to enter the UK after previously being jailed and deported for similar offences.
Ion Rudacan, also known as Ion Paun, was convicted as part of Operation Elba, an operation by Greater Manchester Police to the trafficking of women for sex work in the north west.
Despite being jailed and deported, the 36-year-old made repeated efforts to re-enter the UK.
He managed to enter the UK illegally under a false name, and documents showed he had hired a car in Brighton in July.
But he was arrested by officers from Sussex Police’s Tactical Firearms Unit who carried out a proactive check on his vehicle while on patrol in Marine Parade, Brighton, on September 4.
Rudacan was charged with multiple offences, and was remanded in custody.
At Lewes Crown Court on October 10, he admitted three counts of breaching a Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order, breaching a Deportation Order, three further attempted breaches of the Deportation Order, and seeking and obtaining leave to enter or remain in the UK via deceptive means.
Rudacan, of no fixed address, was sentenced to six years in prison.
The court was told how Rudacan, a Romanian national, was convicted as part of Operation Elba for controlling prostitution for gain and for human trafficking offences in the Manchester area.
He was sentenced to two years and three months in prison in November 2021, along with a Deportation Order.
Rudacan was deported on January 27, 2022.
He was also made the subject of a Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order for ten years, which restricts his ability to own, lease or possess a vehicle in the UK without informing the police, and restricts his access to using devices such as a mobile phone.
It was revealed how he had attempted to enter the UK under a false EU Settlement application.
He was removed from the UK at Stansted Airport on October 5, 2022 and June 26 this year, and was removed from Liverpool John Lennon Airport on October 14, 2022.
Officers stopped him in a vehicle in Marine Parade, Brighton, in the early hours of September 4.
Inspector Oliver Fisher from the Tactical Firearms Unit said: “Our officers were out on patrol and conducted a check on the vehicle, which Rudacan had hired under a false identity.
“Thanks to the proactive stop, these offences by Rudacan were brought to light.
“It demonstrates that our highly-trained firearms officers s conduct a variety of duties above and beyond armed response, and regularly carry out patrols to assist with our colleagues across the force.
“We are determined to disrupt criminals who prey on vulnerable people with trafficking and modern slavery, to ensure the victims are properly safeguarded.”
Detective Inspector Tony Platten from Greater Manchester Police’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Lead said: “He has showed a blatant disregard once again to the orders imposed on him after serving a custodial sentence and when information was received that he had returned to UK soil, another co-ordinated approach across a number of force areas and actions were taken.
“The most recent result was where we have provided colleagues over in Sussex with the support they needed through gathering evidence as well as helping to locate, arrest and prosecute him further. These orders around trafficking and deportation are designed to reduce the risk of further harm being caused.
“Hopefully this continued approach reinforces the message to victims we will investigate all available lines of enquiry, whilst those who commit serious Modern Slavery offences will be pursued and dealt with robustly in order to protect some of the most vulnerable in our communities.”
Tony Hilton, Assistant Director for the Home Office Criminal and Financial Investigation unit, said: “This is a highly deceptive individual who has repeatedly tried to breach our borders and exploit vulnerable people.
"Thanks to the dedication of police and immigration officers, he has been relentlessly pursued and brought to justice.
“We will continue to work closely with our policing partners to investigate, arrest and dismantle people-trafficking operations such as this one, to protect our borders and save lives.”