Published Friday, 06 July 2012
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35-year-old Rong Chen was found guilty of trafficking and controlling prostitution at Belfast Crown Court on Friday.
Judge Mr Justice Stephens Chen said she was "ego-centric" and money driven and that she had sexually exploited four women "regardless of the impact on their lives and personalities".
Two men also arrested, including her husband Jason Hinton and former police officer Simon Dempsey were also sentenced to jail.
Dempsey, her one-time lover was handed a nine-month term for aiding and abetting the control of prostitution.
Her husband Hinton walked free from court with a 220 hour community service order.
The verdicts were the result of a six-month UK-wide operation codename 'Operation Sleek' which uncovered an organised crime gang controlling prostitution and trafficking females for exploitation.
The multi-agency operation against human trafficking at locations in Northern Ireland and in England was aimed at disrupting and dismantling a Chinese organised crime gang and rescuing their victims.
Detectives from the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch, supported by colleagues from specialist units within Crime Operations Department and uniformed officers, raided a number of properties they believe were being used as brothels.
In Northern Ireland, eight properties were searched in Belfast, Londonderry and Newry.
Two of the arrests were made in England by officers from West Mercia Police accompanied by PSNI detectives at properties in Kidderminster. PSNI also received assistance from West Midlands Police in a search in Birmingham.
PSNI said they welcomed the sentences imposed by the court, adding that they "send out a clear message that trafficking and prostitution will not be tolerated in Northern Ireland".
"These individuals preyed on vulnerable women, promising them a better future but, in reality, subjecting them to a degrading existence," a spokesperson said.
They said that four victims who had been subjected to trafficking and/or prostitution have been rescued and provided with an opportunity to put the past behind them and build the futures for themselves that they had wanted before they were ensnared by this organised crime gang.
Police are now taking steps to ensure the three do not benefit financially from their criminal activity.