Brothel owning ain’t this profitable

Given that we have an industry expert around here:

Three weeks ago, police entered a brothel in south-east England after receiving intelligence about criminal activity there. Inside, they found eight Romanian women wearing face shields and masks, and laminated Covid-19 health and safety sheets on the wall. An industrial-size bottle of hand sanitiser stood by the front door.

“On the surface, this did not look like a place where criminality and sexual exploitation was taking place,” says Cristina Huddleston, a trafficking victim support specialist who joined the raid that evening.

Instead, the police investigation found that the brothel and the women inside were under the control of a criminal gang, which was also running at least three other premises where Romanian women were being exploited. It is estimated that just one of these brothels would have brought over £1m in profits every year.

Err, no.

According to UK modern slavery statistics, the number of sex trafficking victims

Trafficking is, by definition, involuntary. And these are not sex slaves. They might not be on all that good a deal – hey, capitalism and all that, the farmer also makes 3 p a loaf – but they’re not slaves.

“The majority of UK sex work is done independently and consensually, but when it comes to criminality there is an agile, extraordinarily efficient business model that has made the UK a primary destination for traffickers and pimps bringing women in from eastern Europe, particularly Romania,” Huddleston told the Guardian.

A pimp is not a slave owner.

Earlier this year, a report on Romanian human trafficking gangs by Radu Nicolae, a Romanian academic at the Syene Centre for Education, used interviews with more than 20 convicted Romanian traffickers to unpick the financial model used to control and then profit from criminal sexual exploitation.

It estimates that in the UK, each woman controlled by a third party could earn between £500 and £700 a day for her trafficker through multiple client visits. Traffickers who had operated in the UK told researchers they earned at least £12,500 a victim every month, or £135,000 a year.

Revenue and profit are not, as some might understand, the same thing.

“Many times the women travel here independently on budget flights, knowing they are going to work in prostitution,

They’re conflating the international movement of labour with slavery.

Because, obviously, after Pentameter we find that there’s no actual sex slavery going on. So, if we’ve teams of antu sex slavery peeps they’ve got to find something to do, don’t they?

21 thoughts on “Brothel owning ain’t this profitable”

  1. …that has made the UK a primary destination…

    Why isn’t this attributed as it should be to the insatiable demand that exists among the priapic and tumescent studs that make up the UK’s male population?

  2. With eight at a time, and with shift work, sixteen employees, I can see turnover (fnar, fnar) being a million. And cost of sales may be quite low.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    Women protect social capital by using cheap flights to engage in prostitution away from prying eyes, facilitated by an agent and protector.

    Nothing changes, except the distance.

  4. “Traffickers who had operated in the UK told researchers they earned at least £12,500 a victim every month, or £135,000 a year”

    See, this is where this appears to be utter bullshit. Because they say “could earn” and then, based on a 25 day month, make that the number. I’m going to suggest that in this “research” they just made this shit up.

    I doubt any Romanian massage parlour girl is making £500/day more than one day/month, gross. £80 for 30 minutes, and think about how many hours the trade is normally running, then there’s a lot of dead time in these places, girls sitting around waiting for a punter. It’s why brothels are a dying trade. A girl can get herself a flat get on a website and arrange times. They can do the laundry, watch Netflix at home, go shopping between visits.

    People who have tried actual slavery with women find it lasts about 2 weeks. Seriously. They get some guy in who seems kind, and they tell him, and he goes to the police. If you wanted to enslave people, putting them in factories and kitchens is a far more sensible idea.

  5. “Trafficking victim support specialist”? Srsly? Years back I read an article in a U.S. newspaper about sex trafficking, describing the case of one unfortunate young woman. After finishing the article I realized it never provided any evidence or even suggestion that she was being forced to do anything. Apparently “I don’t like this woman’s situation” equals slavery or summat.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    “The majority of UK sex work is done independently and consensually, but when it comes to criminality there is an agile, extraordinarily efficient business model that has made the UK a primary destination for traffickers and pimps bringing women in from eastern Europe, particularly Romania,” Huddleston told the Guardian.

    I am willing to bet some real money that Germany is a bigger destination of traffickers and pimps bringing in women from Eastern Europe than Britain.

    If only because Britain’s enthusiastic amateurs can out-compete the professionals.

  7. Thank you TMB. My–er something—swells with pride.

    Perhaps a trifle more seriously, if something needs to be done about this, why not make a nice simple agreement with the Rumanians to dump every Rumanian woman the police can find straight on a flight back to Rumania. But I think Anon’s argument about the whole business drives a stake through its heart.

  8. they found eight Romanian women wearing face shields and masks, and laminated Covid-19 health and safety sheets on the wall. An industrial-size bottle of hand sanitiser stood by the front door.

    Kinky.

  9. Pass details to HMRC (non payment of tax), DWP (non payment of national insurance), local authority (residential premises being used for business). Not ideal, but it’s a start. Isn’t something similar how Elliot Ness brought down Al Capone? We did it all the time when dealing with Nottingham Knockers. Having their dole money stopped made them disappear.

  10. Prostitution is a consensual arrangement between adults. The only way the police can justify interfering is by falsely claming it is not consensual. Hence, sex trafficking.

  11. I know nothing about the economics of knocking shops but surely every time one is raided all the foreign workers claim to be trafficked victims? Better than admitting to being a non-tax paying cash in hand worker.
    I remember reading that Plod raided a house where some Vietnamese chaps were growing dope. The lad who was minding the establishment claimed he’d been trafficked to the UK for this purpose, which seems highly unlikely…

  12. The problem with prostitution in Britain, RlJ, is that the act itself is not illegal, but all the stuff around it is. Pimping, Madame-ing ( is there a trans version, I wonder ), running a brothel/bawdy house, soliciting, all are illegal.

    Here is a case from a few years ago that drew my attention. It is now apparently called KIMS, or Kent International Massage Services. Anyway there are some useful comparative figures here.

    https://www.kentonline.co.uk/folkestone/news/brothel-madame-told-to-pay-30453/

  13. “A decade ago we knew where the brothels and massage parlours were in Greater Manchester. Now everything is done online and it’s impossible for us to find all the places where trafficking may be happening,”

    Strangely enough the punters do not seem to have this problem, given that the whole business seemingly sees enough ..traffic.. to be vastly profitable..

  14. There is no doubt that the young and stupid need to be protected from themselves and others. A friend who is a secret Squirrel did months of highly paid research to come up with the answer that the easiest way to interdict ‘trafficing’ was simply to stop every attractive young Romanian girl at Heathrow who said she was going to be a nanny. This will be complicated by Brexit. It is possible that the UK’s need to import nannies and prossies differ…

  15. “People who have tried actual slavery with women find it lasts about 2 weeks. Seriously. They get some guy in who seems kind, and they tell him, and he goes to the police. If you wanted to enslave people, putting them in factories and kitchens is a far more sensible idea.”

    That works unless the police refuse to act, because the slavers are of a certain religion…

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