Pimps promised Brazilian women chance to study English in the UK - instead they were forced to sign contracts to 'sell their bodies'

By Beth Abbit

A pair of pimps forced Brazilian women to work as prostitutes after trafficking them to the UK on the promise of studying English.

Hussain Edani and Shana Stanley’s victims were lured thousands of miles from South America and forced into sex work to pay off their travel costs.

One victim was sent on an English course in Manchester when she first arrived in the UK.

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The following day, Stanley took her shopping and paid for clothing and lingerie.

But she was soon sent back to London where Stanley told her she would no longer be attending the English course.

Instead she was handed a contract to sign to "sell her body". She was told if she did not sign it, she would go back to Brazil.

Edani, 31, and Stanley, 29, forced victims to see up to 20 clients daily to make them at least £500 a day.

The women were only allowed to keep between £250 and £300 a week in wages.

Hidden cameras were fitted in the victims’ rooms and they were threatened with the footage of them having sex with men being sent to their families if they did not carry on seeing clients.

Hussain Edani (SWNS)

One woman who managed to get away from their grasp said she was "sold a dream that turned into a nightmare".

Edani and Stanley have now both been jailed for a total of more than 11 years for sex trafficking.

Both defendants paid for the victims' flights from their native Brazil, passports, English studies and accommodation.

But the women were soon stopped from attending the courses and instead were forced into sex work to pay back the costs of getting to Britain.

The alarm was first raised last March when police were called to a house in south Harrow, north west London, where a woman told cops she was being held as a slave and wanted to go home to Brazil.

That night on March 22, 2020, a row had broken out between Shana Stanley, who was described as her 'line manager', over money.

Stanley left, then came back and took all the victim’s cash, passport, then threatened her, before she managed to call police and shout for help, but she was pushed by Stanley and the call was cut short.

As Stanley left she told the woman she had "signed her own death warrant", police said.

The victim managed to take photos of Stanley on her phone before calling officers back.

At Harrow Crown Court Stanley was jailed for three years and seven months, while Edani was sentenced to eight years and two months in prison.

Both pleaded guilty at the same court at a previous hearing to four counts of controlling prostitution.

Edani also admitted three counts of arranging/facilitating travel for the purpose of exploitation while Stanley pleaded guilty to two counts of the same charge.

Detective Constable Pete Brewster, the investigating officer for the Met Police, said that the defendants "manipulated" and "exploited" their victims.

He said: “Edani and Stanley lured their victims with false promises before manipulating them and exploiting them for their own financial gain.

“They had absolutely no regard for the victims or their wellbeing, including making them work long hours for very little in return – even when they were unwell. All they cared about was how much money they could make."

Shana Stanley (SWNS)

When the victim who first called police arrived in the UK, she began going to an English course in Manchester before Stanley told her to go to London.

The next day Stanley took her shopping and paid for clothing and lingerie before sending her back to Manchester.

Soon after she returned to London and met Stanley who told her she would no longer be attending the course, police said.

Instead she was given a contract to sign to "sell her body", being told if she did not sign it she would not be able to go back to Brazil.

The victim later told officers that at the time she thought signing the contract was her only way out..

She was taken to a flat in south Harrow and a hidden camera was installed in her bedroom - which Stanley was thought to have monitored on her mobile phone, saying it was for her "safety".

She was also given a mobile phone which she was ordered not to turn off so her movements could be tracked.

Stanley told the woman if she did not work she would end up homeless on the streets of the capital and would never see her family again - who thought she was working as a cleaner in the UK.

She travelled with another woman and they had both believed they were coming over to study English.

They stayed in a hotel in Heathrow, west London, for several days before they met with Stanley, who said they would be put in a flat and would wear lingerie bought by her and meet with clients.

They were told they should make £500 a day and would be paid £250 a week plus £50 for food, working from around 10am or 11am to midnight.

They were also taken shopping by Stanley and then photographed in the lingerie for an online advert.

They were given work phones, which again tracked their movements and Stanley’s number was saved as a contact under ‘manager’.

Hussain Edani and Shana Stanley would both contact her over WhatsApp, where Stanley sent client bookings, and the women were not allowed to make friends.

Officers carried out three raids in Wembley, north west London, and arrested Edani and Stanley on April 15 last year.

Hussain Edani and Shana Stanley (SWNS)

Documents seized in the raid led detectives to a fourth victim – a UK national and law student who was recruited before the Brazilian victims by Edani under the pretence that he could get her modelling work.

She met with Edani and Stanley, who posed as a modelling agent, at luxury hotels in London and was told if she was serious about modelling she would have to move to the capital.

Not long after she moved into a flat in Wembley with Stanley she was also taken shopping – believing the lingerie was for a modelling shoot.

After a few weeks the victim found herself in the same situation as the other victims and owed money.

Not knowing how to get out of it, she reluctantly agreed to work for Edani and Stanley, before managing to leave in August 2019.

All the victims told officers Edani was the ‘boss’ and Stanley was their ‘line manager’ who posted adverts online and arranged clients to meet.

The ‘business’ was portrayed as a legal escort agency.

But the court heard that not only were the victims working as sex workers with the defendants’ knowledge, but also under their orders and control.

The defendants’ bank records showed thousands of pounds in cash being deposited, showing the financial gain they made from exploiting the women.

DC Brewster added: “The Met remains absolutely committed to doing all we can to protect women and girls, including those who are exploited by people like Edani and Stanley.

“Thanks to the courage and bravery of the victims, we were able to gather overwhelming evidence which resulted in Edani and Stanley having no option but to plead guilty, preventing them from harming others.

“The Met takes all reports of modern slavery extremely seriously and is committed to prosecuting those who engage in this pernicious crime.

“I would encourage anyone who has suffered from these kind of offences to contact police where they will be treated sensitivity and any allegations will be thoroughly investigated.”


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