Three members of an organised crime gang who trafficked women into the UK for sexual exploitation have been sentenced for a combined total of 24 years.

Marian Ninov Vasilev, of Woodford, was part of the gang which trafficked six victims into the UK from Bulgaria, the court heard.

Victims would be greeted at the airport, for which they would have to pay £200, before being transported to one of a number of rented locations.

Vasilev, and her two accomplices Iliya Mihaylov and Eleonora Vasileva, both Canning Town residents, operated brothels from The Broadway in Woodford, West Ham Lane, Stratford, and an address in Leyton.

The court heard how victims would rarely be allowed to leave the “squalid” apartments and if they told the gang that they wanted to stop, they would be threatened with violence and told their families would be in danger.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Iliya Mihaylov was jailed for 10 years. Photo: Met Police

Victims would be expected to work 24 hours a day and would also be forced to sell class A drugs – 50 per cent of their takings would go to the gang.

They would also be forced to pay a weekly room charge and buy items including lubricants and condoms directly from the gang, where the price was inflated to up to five times the retail price.

The gang lived a life of total contrast, enjoying buying luxury cars, including a Porsche Cayenne.

An investigation began in February 2018 after Bulgarian authorities alerted the Met to reports of an organised crime network exploiting people in London.

Mihaylov was arrested on March 5, 2019 after police observed him leaving his home address on Alnwick Road.

Vasileva was also located inside the home address. Vasilev was arrested the same day at the brothel address in Woodford.

During searches of the addresses officers discovered cash, class A drugs and a disguised stun gun.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Eleonora Vasileva was jailed for 11 years, Photo: Met Police

All three were found guilty of conspiracy to traffic, conspiracy to control prostitution, and conspiracy to supply class A drugs at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, October 7.

Vasilev, 34, of The Broadway, Woodford was sentenced to three years

Vasileva, 34, of Alnwick Road, E16, sentenced to 11 years and Mihaylov, 31, also of Alnwick Road, was sentenced to 10 years.

Mihaylov was further found guilty of theft, making threats to kill, and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Both Vasileva and Mihaylov were also served with a 15-year Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order.

They were sentenced at the same court on Thursday, October 17.

Detective constable Tom Jackson, of Central Specialist Crime, said: “The actions of the group were abhorrent; the victims, vulnerable and frightened, were at times put in fear of their lives by a callous gang who showed a total disregard for their wellbeing.

“I am pleased we have secured these sentences today and would like to thank the victims who have been so courageous in supporting this investigation. I would encourage anyone else who believes they may be a victim of the crime to come forward and report to us.”