Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Human trafficker deported after serving jail term

A Hungarian man who transported foreign women into Belfast to work in the sex trade was yesterday deported from the UK.

Matayas Pis became the first man to be jailed in Northern Ireland for human trafficking when he was convicted at Belfast Crown Court in April.

The 38-year-old was also convicted of controlling prostitution and was sentenced to 18 months behind bars.

Pis, who ran a brothel from an apartment in the city’s Titanic Quarter, was released from Magilligan Prison yesterday after serving just five months of his sentence because of time already spent on remand.

He was escorted from the jail by officers from the UK Border Agency and placed on a flight from Belfast back to Hungary.

A Dublin-based restaurant owner, Pis was part of a crime gang which ran a vice-ring involving Hungarian nationals.

From December 2010 to March 2011 he arranged for two women to come to Belfast through Dublin airport to work as prostitutes.

Pis booked the women’s air tickets to Dublin and then drove them to Belfast where he provided them with an apartment. They were then advertised on the internet as escorts so that they could pay back their rent for the apartment and travelling expenses.

The women were rescued from the Belfast brothel by police in March of last year after information was passed on from the Hungarian authorities.

Following an investigation by the PSNI, Pis was arrested and later convicted of human trafficking and controlling prostitution.

At the time of sentencing, Judge Burgess said that, while the women had not been held against their will, he could not ignore that “human trafficking is a global problem and we should not be blind to the fact that it is happening now in Northern Ireland.

“Women, men and even children are being brought to this country — often against their will — for the purposes of economic and sexual exploitation.”

Following Pis’s deportation yesterday, Mike Golden from the UK Border Agency said that human trafficking “is a brutal form of organised crime where people are treated as commodities and exploited for criminal gain.”

“Working with the police ... at home and abroad we are determined to tackle the organised criminals who prey on vulnerable people, and take action against those who break the law.”

Profile

Matayas Pis, a Hungarian national, was a restaurant owner in Dublin when he was arrested in connection with a human trafficking and prostitution ring. He was part of a serious crime gang which ran a vice ring involving Hungarian nationals. He trafficked two women into Belfast and set them up in a brothel which he ran from a flat in the Titanic Quarter. Pis was the first person in the province to be jailed for human trafficking. Yesterday he was deported back to Hungary.

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