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Trio who enslaved Vietnamese girls in nail bars jailed

Stafford Crown Court heard the victims were trafficked between different salons.

Thu Huong Nguyen (l) and Viet Hoang Nguyen were jailed.
Thu Huong Nguyen (l) and Viet Hoang Nguyen were jailed. Staffordshire Police

Three people who forced young Vietnamese women to work in nail bars for nothing have been jailed.

The trio trafficked and employed girls as young as 16 at salons in the Midlands and South West.

In addition to no pay, the three victims were made to sleep in a small loft above one of the premises.

Giang Huong Tran, 23, Viet Hoang Nguyen, 30, and Thu Huong Nguyen, 49, have now been convicted under the Modern Slavery Act.

They were jailed on Tuesday for a total of nine years, with Thu receiving a five-year sentence.

The victims were forced to live in a loft.
The victims were forced to live in a loft. Staffordshire Police

Stafford Crown Court heard that the victims were trafficked around the country to work at different salons.

The operation was so extensive that the subsequent police investigation involved five forces.

The trio were arrested after Avon & Somerset Police located the 16-year-old, who had been reported missing, working at Gorgeous Nails in Burton-on-Trent.

Officers also found the two other victims there, who were unable to provide proof of their UK citizenship or details about their immigration status.

The arrests of Giang, the manager of Gorgeous Nails, and Viet, the owner, then led to the arrest of Thu, who owned Deluxe Nails in Bath.

Viet, jailed for four years, and Thu were convicted of trafficking the victims, while Giang was given a two-year suspended sentence for forced labour.

The victims were not paid for their work.
The victims were not paid for their work. Staffordshire Police

The sentencing judge described the trio as "thoroughly devious, dishonest and manipulative".

Detective Inspector Clair Langley said: "In this case young and vulnerable women have been exploited for labour purposes purely for financial gain."

Detective Inspector Charlotte Tucker said: "These victims have had traumatic childhoods and were treated by traffickers as commodities - forced to live and work in unsuitable conditions, with little or no pay.

"We're pleased with the custodial sentences given out today and hope this case acts as a stark reminder of how modern slavery victims are working and living in plain sight."

To access confidential support call Refuge's Modern Slavery Service on: 020 7395 7722 or email: modernslavery@refuge.org.uk.

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