Five guilty of sex trafficking in Sussex University Hungarian prostitution case

Five guilty of sex trafficking in Sussex University Hungarian prostitution case

Mate Puskas

Victoria Brown

Zoltan Mohacsi

Istvan Toth

Peter Toth

First published in News
Last updated
by , Crime reporter

Five people have been found guilty of sex trafficking Hungarian women to work in brothels across the county, some on the University of Sussex Falmer campus.

Five Hungarian men and a woman are accused of flying more than 50 young women into the UK and setting them up in hotels, student accommodation and residential housing across Sussex.

Mate Puskas, 25, Victoria Brown, 25, Zoltan Mohacsi, 36, Istvan Toth, 34 and Peter Toth, 28, all denied running of the “complex” organisation.

But today they were convicted of conspiracy to traffic.

Hove Crown Court heard the gang, which is linked to a Hungarian organised crime group, advertised the girls for sex through an adult website.

David Walbank, prosecuting, told how the five recruited young women, some as young as 18, from Hungary and arranged for them to fly to the UK.

They would then take them to hotels near the airports, including Gatwick, before sending them as far and afield as Glasgow and Margate.

He added they also arranged pornographic shoots for the women, scheduled appointments with clients and negotiated on sexual services and prices.

As the trial opened yesterday Mr Walbank said: “This is a case about individual people, specifically the young Hungarian women who are the most obvious victims.

“The overall history of what was done by these girls and to these girls is a series of individual human tragedies, the consequences of which will affect many of them for a lifetime.”

The jury was told more than 50 women had been identified as sex workers although Mr Walbank said the number was likely to be “significantly higher”.

He added that although just five defendants were on trial, the “scale” and “complexity” of the operation suggested many more were also involved.

The gang first came to the attention of police in 2011.

The court was told how the University of Sussex’s building manager, Martin West, was alerted to an email advertising escorts in Park Village on the Falmer campus.

In one of the semi-naked profiles he recognised the distinct campus curtains and bedding a prostitute was sprawled across.

The jury heard he went to investigate and found a young woman wearing a vest top and knickers. He also found a number of wet wipes and a large box of condoms.

Mr Walbank told the jury how the gang set up brothels across Sussex including one in a basement flat in Marine Parade, Eastbourne.

After a tip-off police visited the flat and found a young woman “dressed provocatively” sitting on a bed with her “cleavage showing”.

The jury heard one of the prostitutes called the address a brothel later in the investigation, confessing she had sex there with up to 15 men a day.

The group also used a string of hotels close to Gatwick to accommodate prostitutes, the jury heard.

Among them were the Ibis Holiday Inn and the Gatwick Moat House Hotel.

Staff reported a succession of foreign girls checking in before being visited by numerous men each day.

On one occasion, police officers were called to the Gatwick Moat House on December 10, 2011 when staff grew suspicious of their guest in room 401.

The jury heard officers approached the room to hear “muffled banging”. Inside they found a young female wearing just her underwear and bins “overflowing with refuse including toilet paper and used condoms”, Mr Walbank said.

A third location, a house rented in Zion Place, Margate, Kent was also regularly visited by a series of men.

The gang had a “fleet of vehicles” to run the complex operation and regularly updated website profiles, Mr Walbank said.

The jury heard all but Brown are Hungarian nationals.

Brown, who has lived in Holland Road, Hove, was in a relationship with Puskas.

Mr Walbank added: “Each of these defendants was actively involved in running an international prostitution ring which involved the trafficking of young women from Hungary.

“They arranged appointments with paying clients whom these young women were expected to service by performing every imaginable type of sexual activity and then pocketing a large slice of the cash proceeds.”

Puskas, of Surrey Street, Croydon, Brown, of Oakley Road, Bognor, Mohacsi, of Cranbrook Road, Ilford and Istvan and Peter Toth, of St John’s Road, Eastbourne, face three counts of conspiracy to control the activities of prostitutes for gain, conspiracy to traffic into the UK and conspiracy to traffic within the UK.

Istvan and Peter Toth, who were not in court, were tried in their absence.

The five will be sentenced at 2pm.

Comments (8)

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12:57pm Tue 7 Jan 14

tooned_in says...

Vile, lets hope for a change the justice system doesnt let its public down and their sentances are in double figures.
Vile, lets hope for a change the justice system doesnt let its public down and their sentances are in double figures. tooned_in
  • Score: 16

2:12pm Tue 7 Jan 14

sussexram40 says...

if you have sex with a trafficked women then it is rape in law as somone who has been trafficked cant have cosnented under law because they are unwilling and under control of others so are they now going to catch all the men who had sex with the victims???
if you have sex with a trafficked women then it is rape in law as somone who has been trafficked cant have cosnented under law because they are unwilling and under control of others so are they now going to catch all the men who had sex with the victims??? sussexram40
  • Score: 9

5:21pm Tue 7 Jan 14

whatevernext2013 says...

Brighton1000 wrote:
whatevernext2013 wrote:
Seventh Circle wrote:
I suppose they will get banged up for providing a valuable service while dozens of rapists and murderers are walking around free.
It's supply and demand after all
so your all right with the RAPE of there victims as none of these women agreed to having sex with the paying men ,are you one of these men who raped these woman ,lets hope your caught before you rape again
I dont agree with this whole situation, however, you accusing this poster of rape is a bit odd and over dramatic is it not? I assume the paying customer was not aware these girls were trafficked and non consentual. The word rape is bound about far to often for such a henous crime. Im glad these sickos have been found guilty.
this person is supporting the actions of the people who ran there victims abused these woman and profited from there suffering and you are no better in your support of them what a low life you both are ,no wonder people think brighton is gone down ,with people like you two backing pond life and there actions you should be ashamed of your self
[quote][p][bold]Brighton1000[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]whatevernext2013[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Seventh Circle[/bold] wrote: I suppose they will get banged up for providing a valuable service while dozens of rapists and murderers are walking around free. It's supply and demand after all[/p][/quote]so your all right with the RAPE of there victims as none of these women agreed to having sex with the paying men ,are you one of these men who raped these woman ,lets hope your caught before you rape again[/p][/quote]I dont agree with this whole situation, however, you accusing this poster of rape is a bit odd and over dramatic is it not? I assume the paying customer was not aware these girls were trafficked and non consentual. The word rape is bound about far to often for such a henous crime. Im glad these sickos have been found guilty.[/p][/quote]this person is supporting the actions of the people who ran there victims abused these woman and profited from there suffering and you are no better in your support of them what a low life you both are ,no wonder people think brighton is gone down ,with people like you two backing pond life and there actions you should be ashamed of your self whatevernext2013
  • Score: 1

6:25pm Tue 7 Jan 14

John Steed says...

why have not sussex police tracked down the two missing defendants, more to the point with such alleged serious crimes and being foreigners why were they granted bail, this insiduous exploitation has to be firmly dealt with.
however it must also be stated that i have travelled through hungary from one side of the country to the other over 80 times and prostitution has been rife, certainly since 1990 , it was almost impossible to find a gateway, layby or lorry stop that was not over run with girls looking for business, it was so frequent that my wife who was often driving behind me in a second vehicle used to enjoy taking photos of the girls signaling as i drove past. so I would be surprised if the girls brought over didnt actualy know what they were getting involved in.
why have not sussex police tracked down the two missing defendants, more to the point with such alleged serious crimes and being foreigners why were they granted bail, this insiduous exploitation has to be firmly dealt with. however it must also be stated that i have travelled through hungary from one side of the country to the other over 80 times and prostitution has been rife, certainly since 1990 , it was almost impossible to find a gateway, layby or lorry stop that was not over run with girls looking for business, it was so frequent that my wife who was often driving behind me in a second vehicle used to enjoy taking photos of the girls signaling as i drove past. so I would be surprised if the girls brought over didnt actualy know what they were getting involved in. John Steed
  • Score: 0

7:54pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Sussex jim says...

It is a pleasure to read that these foreigners that have abused the hospitality of our generous country, posing on the steps of the court with their silly grins and mobile phones, have finally been nailed.
I just hope that the poor young girls used as fodder for the vile business empire can eventually recover and go on to lead normal lives.
It is a pleasure to read that these foreigners that have abused the hospitality of our generous country, posing on the steps of the court with their silly grins and mobile phones, have finally been nailed. I just hope that the poor young girls used as fodder for the vile business empire can eventually recover and go on to lead normal lives. Sussex jim
  • Score: 4

8:55pm Tue 7 Jan 14

angrymonkey says...

low life scum lets hope for once jail them for years then kick them out of the uk for life to much scum here from over seas just look at all the rapes in Brighton where said not from the uk.
low life scum lets hope for once jail them for years then kick them out of the uk for life to much scum here from over seas just look at all the rapes in Brighton where said not from the uk. angrymonkey
  • Score: 1

10:08pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

There is no place in Britain for anyone who sexually abuses any other human. Deport them all now. Hopeless, useless men who prey on women and use the UK to do it.
What has Caroline Lucas got to say about this? She is happy to spout on about Page 3 women yet serious crimes such as this she doesn't whisper a word.
This is the sort of issue you should be dealing with Caroline.
There is no place in Britain for anyone who sexually abuses any other human. Deport them all now. Hopeless, useless men who prey on women and use the UK to do it. What has Caroline Lucas got to say about this? She is happy to spout on about Page 3 women yet serious crimes such as this she doesn't whisper a word. This is the sort of issue you should be dealing with Caroline. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 4

3:03pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Brighton1000 says...

whatevernext2013 wrote:
Brighton1000 wrote:
whatevernext2013 wrote:
Seventh Circle wrote:
I suppose they will get banged up for providing a valuable service while dozens of rapists and murderers are walking around free.
It's supply and demand after all
so your all right with the RAPE of there victims as none of these women agreed to having sex with the paying men ,are you one of these men who raped these woman ,lets hope your caught before you rape again
I dont agree with this whole situation, however, you accusing this poster of rape is a bit odd and over dramatic is it not? I assume the paying customer was not aware these girls were trafficked and non consentual. The word rape is bound about far to often for such a henous crime. Im glad these sickos have been found guilty.
this person is supporting the actions of the people who ran there victims abused these woman and profited from there suffering and you are no better in your support of them what a low life you both are ,no wonder people think brighton is gone down ,with people like you two backing pond life and there actions you should be ashamed of your self
How did i support their actions? please dont spout utter nonsense
[quote][p][bold]whatevernext2013[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Brighton1000[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]whatevernext2013[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Seventh Circle[/bold] wrote: I suppose they will get banged up for providing a valuable service while dozens of rapists and murderers are walking around free. It's supply and demand after all[/p][/quote]so your all right with the RAPE of there victims as none of these women agreed to having sex with the paying men ,are you one of these men who raped these woman ,lets hope your caught before you rape again[/p][/quote]I dont agree with this whole situation, however, you accusing this poster of rape is a bit odd and over dramatic is it not? I assume the paying customer was not aware these girls were trafficked and non consentual. The word rape is bound about far to often for such a henous crime. Im glad these sickos have been found guilty.[/p][/quote]this person is supporting the actions of the people who ran there victims abused these woman and profited from there suffering and you are no better in your support of them what a low life you both are ,no wonder people think brighton is gone down ,with people like you two backing pond life and there actions you should be ashamed of your self[/p][/quote]How did i support their actions? please dont spout utter nonsense Brighton1000
  • Score: 0

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