Ians Gang - Terror of the Ooze

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The oldest brother Alexandru leased at least three properties in east London used to house the Romanian slaves.

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And the two younger siblings, Valentin and Grigore, would beat and threaten any workers who raised objections to the oppressive regime. Police discovered that for five years more than 30 Romanians found in their home country or living in Britain already lived in squalor in this three-bedroom house where beds were squeezed into every room.


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Areas for men and women were only split with threadbare curtains where victims described these hovels being infested with insects and rats. Alexandru Lupu, 43, and his younger siblings Grigore, 39, and Valentin, 24, pictured left to right have been jailed for a combined total of 28 years.

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The woman slept in a bedroom partitioned off from men by a threadbare curtain and was too terrified to get out of her work clothes. She arrived in Wembley, northwest London on 2 September on a coach and slept rough in a park before starting work for a family of Romanians. The woman was forced to work for the Lupu brothers as a chambermaid at the Premier Inn hotel at Waterloo cleaning three bedrooms an hour.

Valentin Lupu, 24, along with brothers Grigore, 39, and Alexandru, 43, profited from her misery and other victims for five years. Speaking from behind a screen she had told the court: 'There was a curtain in the middle of the room where they had beds and the curtain was separating the couples from the men. She told the jury while she was living at 15 Bower House, Barking, during she slept in the clothes she worked in. We were given a ration.

One woman found by police living in one of the hovels revealed she forced to work for the Lupu brothers as a chambermaid at the Premier Inn hotel at Waterloo cleaning three bedrooms an hour for a pittance. The three men denied but were convicted of conspiracy to require other persons to provide forced or compulsory labour.

Grigore and Valentin were also convicted of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the transport of others with a view to exploitation. Grigore and Valentin Lupu were both jailed for ten years while Alexandru Lupu was sentenced to eight years in prison at Blackfriars Crown Court last week.

It involved the denial of their humanity and failure to recognise that these are human beings who feel pain and misery just like all of us. In effect you were acting as gang masters. The workers were subject to debt bondage. Judge Shetty describing some of the appalling conditions in which some of the workers were kept. The properties were infested with rats and cockroaches. The mattresses on the floor were filthy and they were denied the ability to wash themselves daily.

Men and women working on building sites and cleaning hotels had to share small houses and flats including here in Bower House, Barking. Grigore and Valentin Lupu were both jailed for ten years while Alexandru Lupu was sentenced to eight years imprisonment. At the close of the prosecution case the judge had directed the jury to clear five other members of the Lupu family, including dad Viorel, 49, of involvement in the conspiracy. In , laws preventing the identification of victims of sexual abuse were extended to modern slavery.

Offences under the Modern Slavery Act involve a wide range of crimes, including sex trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. This means any victims or alleged victims of these crimes are entitled to anonymity from the moment they make a complaint - with anyone naming them liable to prosecution. The law change was introduced to recognise the emotional trauma suffered by victims and to encourage them to come forward.

Viorel and wife Victorita, 51, were cleared of conspiracy to force compulsory labour and conspiracy to transport of others with a view to exploitation. Toader Lupu, 45, Violeta Lupu, 44, and their son Ionut Lupu, 25, were also acquitted of the same charges. The five, along with Alexandru, 43, were further cleared of money laundering.

It is about those who are in a position of comparative strength and power. Bower House in Barking, east London, one of several properties leased by the gangmasters to hold their victims. The conditions the workers were housed in were appalling. It was paid into the bank accounts controlled by the defendants and we say pocketed by them. It was he who offered them work in the UK. He was responsible for organising much of the paperwork for these people to be able to work on construction sites.

He was also someone we suggest who assisted Valentin in making sure people did not get step out of line. Valentin, and Grigore, also of Ilford and Alexandru, of Forest Gate, all denied but were convicted of conspiracy to require other persons to provide forced or compulsory labour. Girl called G-G Sumatra. We'll have another drink at "Yeah Man" and hear the piano. Move on at about twelve-thirty.

The big switchboard, now only a few blocks away, was almost quiet. Midnight had them entering Yeah Man.

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At twelve-thirty the final call came and then the board was silent. He hurried across the dance-floor to a table away on the right, obscured from most of the room by a wide pillar. It was next to the Service entrance but with a good view of the floor and the band opposite. Table's reserved. Newspaper men from downtown. Drinks is on the house.

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Sam,' he beckoned to another waiter, 'clear the table. Two covers. The other call was to four men who were playing craps in the basement. It was a long call, and very detailed. At twelve forty-five Bond and Leiter paid off their cab and walked in under the sign which announced 'The Boneyard' in violet and green neon. The thudding rhythm and the sour-sweet smell rocked them as they pushed through the heavy curtains inside the swing door.

Ian's Gang: Terror of the Ooze

The eyes of the hat-check girls glowed and beckoned. The head waiter consulted his table-plan. He seemed to decide. He put his pencil firmly through a space at the end of the card. Guess Ah cain't hold their res'vation all night. This way, please. Bond looked round.

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The music had stopped. The small four-piece band, clarinet, double-bass, electric guitar and drums, was moving out of the corner opposite. The dozen or so couples were walking and jiving to their tables and the crimson light was turned off under the glass dance-floor. Instead, pencil-thin lights in the roof came on and hit coloured glass witchballs, larger than footballs, that hung at intervals round the wall.

They were of different hues, golden, blue, green, violet, red. As the beams of light hit them, they glowed like coloured suns. The walls, varnished black, mirrored their reflections as did the sweat on the ebony faces of the men. Sometimes a man sitting between two lights showed cheeks of different colour, green on one side, perhaps, and red on the other.

The lighting made it impossible to distinguish features unless they were only a few feet away. Some of the lights turned the girls' lipstick black, others lit their whole faces in a warm glow on one side and gave the other profile the luminosity of a drowned corpse. The whole scene was macabre and livid, as if El Greco had done a painting by moonlight of an exhumed graveyard in a burning town. It was not a large room, perhaps sixty foot square. There were about fifty tables and the customers were packed in like black olives in a jar. It was hot and the air was thick with smoke and the sweet, feral smell of two hundred negro bodies.

The noise was terrific--an undertone of the jabber of negroes enjoying themselves without restraint, punctuated by sharp bursts of noise, shouts and high giggles, as loud voices called to each other across the room. From time to time a man or girl would erupt on to the dance-floor and start a wild solo jive.