Nationwide prostitution gang jailed followed East Exploitation Team investigation

Friday, May 19, 2023

A GANG which offered sex for sale in a network of brothels up and down the country has been jailed.

Lancashire Constabulary’s East Exploitation Team launched an investigation into nationwide sexual exploitation and human trafficking in September last year after concerns were raised about sexual services being advertised online.

As part of the operation, we initially executed a search warrant at a property in Blackburn and that led to further searches and arrests at properties in Accrington, St Helens, Hertfordshire and London.

A number of women have been safeguarded.

The gang were today (Friday, May 19) jailed at Preston Crown Court.

DS Stu Peall, of the East Exploitation Team, said: “The women at these brothels were treated as nothing more than a commodity without any regard for their wellbeing or human rights. The evidence clearly showed that these people were controlling these women for the purposes of prostitution.

“Lancashire Constabulary is committed to tackling exploitation of all kinds and today’s sentences are the culmination of the hard work and dedication of our officers who continue to work proactively to put an end to modern slavery.”

“We welcome any community intelligence that may help to identify addresses where prostitution may be taking place. If you suspect suspicious activity is taking place, please let us know. We take all reports seriously and will investigate thoroughly.

“I hope these sentences send a message to victims of sex trafficking that Lancashire Police will always support complainants and look to prosecute those bringing misery to the lives of vulnerable people
“We want to offer help and advice for people who think they may be victims of human trafficking or slavery.

“There are a number of ways you can contact someone for help. You don’t have to speak directly to the police there are charities that can help you. You can also ring some services anonymously; you do not have to give your name or go to court or give a statement.”


Shi Guang Zhong  - 07/08/1983 – St Bees Close, St Helens. Admitted Conspiracy to Control Prostitution. Jailed for 29 months.

Hongli Yi - 24/3/75, Whalley Road, Accrington. Convicted of Controlling Prostitution. Jailed for two years.

Xinghai Zhou - 21/10/1972 - Etchingham Road, London. Convicted of Conspiracy to Control Prostitution. Jailed for 16 months.

Wanchun Zhang - 31/01/1965 – no fixed address. Admitted Conspiracy to Control Prostitution. Jailed for 12 months.

Li Neng Leong - 09/10/1984 - Haseldine Road, London Colney, St. Albans, Hertfordshire. Admitted Conspiracy to Control Prostitution. Jailed for 12 months.

Yi Chen Cheng - 11/07/1962 - no fixed address. Convicted of Conspiracy to Control Prostitution. Jailed for four months.

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