• Saturday, February 24, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Londoner who ran escort agency website jailed for rape, prostitution offences

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A Londoner who preyed upon young women looking for jobs has been jailed for 31 years after being convicted of rape and sexual assault.

Nuruzzaman Shahin of Camden who targeted women through an escort website was also found guilty of controlling prostitution for gain.

The 40-year-old man, who committed the offences against eight women, has been subjected to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order. His conviction took place in December following an eight-week trial and he was sentenced on January 23.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how Shahin set up a business called ‘Soul Mates Escort Agency’ which operated before his initial arrest in 2018.

Shahin searched employment websites and looked for women seeking jobs across a variety of industries. He contacted the women in his effort to recruit them into escort work by promising earnings of up to £500 a day. He would then arrange in-person interviews with them at a residential address in north London.

Shahin committed serious sexual offences, including rape during the interviews and while he was in contact with the women, the court heard.

He was arrested in 2018 but no further action could be taken because of insufficient evidence.

However, the Met’s Modern Slavery and Exploitation team from Central Specialist Crime Command worked with the charity Justice and Care to build trust with his victims.

He was arrested again in 2021 after investigation showed that he had coerced several women.

Detective inspector Jim Madden from Central Specialist Crime praised the bravery of the women who came forward to give evidence in the court during the trial.

Senior crown prosecutor Samira Noor-Khan described Shahin as “a highly dangerous and devious man” who exploited several women to satisfy his sexual desires and for financial gain.

“Shahin preyed upon young women looking for work” over the years by luring them to his residential address and telling them they could earn lucrative sums of money working as escorts through his agency. This “a front for prostitution” in reality, the prosecutor said.

He coerced the women into engaging in sexual activity with him and sexually assaulted them and his actions left some of his victims traumatised, the court heard.

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