Belfast Telegraph

Jailed people trafficking brothers convicted of fraud

By Paul Higgins

Two Romanian brothers recently jailed for their roles in a UK-wide human trafficking and prostitution ring have been handed further jail terms for fraud.

At Banbridge Magistrates Court, District Judge Paul Copeland handed five-month jail terms to Decebal Mihai (28) and his younger brother Spartacus Mihai (21).

He suspended the younger man's sentence, meaning he will remain incarcerated in the Young Offenders Centre until his deportation.

The brothers - Decebal from Kenlis Street in Banbridge and Spartacus from the Henly Road, Ilford, Essex - had pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by falsely claiming they were "entitled to apply for an insurance policy" on various dates last year.

The court, sitting in Newry, heard how the offences came to light when police had the brothers under surveillance and spotted them "driving around in different cars". Investigations revealed that the registered keepers, who lived in Britain, knew nothing of the Mihai brothers.

At the end of February in Belfast Crown Court, Decebal and Spartacus Mihai were jailed after they admitted eight counts of human trafficking and controlling prostitution.

Defence barrister Joel Lindsay revealed there was video surveillance footage of Decebal Mihai "at the house that they lived in with various ladies", adding that the brothers were "buying and selling cars" at the time. Bobby Rea, acting on behalf of Spartacus Mihai, submitted that with a release date around the end of the year, when he will be deported, if he was given a further term of imprisonment he would be transferred to Maghaberry.

Imposing the sentences, Judge Copeland said the custody threshold was "absolutely met in this case".

Belfast Telegraph

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