Two gangsters who operated a “county line” drug network have been convicted of human trafficking in a legal first, The Guardian reports.
Mahad Yusuf, 20, and Fesal Mahamud, 19, both pleaded guilty to trafficking a woman, 19, who was used as a drugs mule between London and Swansea.
The case is thought to be the first in which police used the powers of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to pursue members of city gangs.
Appearing at Swansea Crown Court, the pair also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
According to police, their victim was contacted on social media before she was lured into a car and taken to Swansea where she was met by Mr Yusuf who destroyed her phone and told her she “belonged to him”.
The woman was held for five days and was forced to store the drugs at an address which the police subsequently raided.
DI Rick Sewart, of Scotland Yard, said: “The victim in this case suffered a horrendous ordeal at the hands of these two men, who trafficked her for their own criminal gain.
“Unfortunately this case is by no means unique. Drug dealers are exploiting vulnerable people across the country via county lines.
“This prosecution is a clear message to any drug dealer that if you exploit young people we will find you, bring you to justice and you will feel the full force of the law.”