Bulgarian prostitution ring in Plymouth uncovered

Updated: May 10, 2020

A network of Bulgarian pimps and prostitutes has been uncovered this week in Plymouth by the SIA (Bulgarian Foreign State Intelligence Agency). The ring consisted of 9 Bulgarian men and 1 Albanian, and 33 Bulgarian, Romanian and Moldavian ladies, some of which were being held against their will.

Police has raided 3 locations in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, 1 location in London and 4 others in Plymouth and detained the 10 alleged sex traffickers. It is believed the ring was formed in early 2017 in the Black Sea town of Varna, by former accomplices of Ilko Tonev, who was also convicted for sex trafficking in Holland. Large amounts of money in different currencies were found in some locations spread out across Plymouth. So far no names have been released, as evidence is still being collected agains the suspects. Apparently, the suspects has used the "loverboy" method to coerce most ladies into prostitution. In this scenario a young man gains a lady's affection with expensive gifts and promises to take her on lavish vacations. The ring then makes arrangements to fly the victim to another country, where they could manipulate and exploit them and force them into prostitution. Multiple websited were then used to advertise sex services.

Social media and other websited were used to advertise sex services

Officers encountered difficulties in uncovering this network because they were using encrypted mobile messaging apps and the usage of different hotels as their operations base. It is believed the latest "arrivals" to Plymouth were just two months ago. Officers are working tirelessly to close this case and prevent others.

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