Pair convicted under new sex traffic laws

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A LEITH woman and another man have become the first sex traffickers in Scotland to be convicted under new legislation.

Sarah Beukan, 22, and Stephen Craig, 34, yesterday admitted moving 14 men and women to addresses in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff and Newcastle for sex.

They pled guilty on the day their trial was due to start, saving more than 200 witnesses from giving evidence.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Beukan, of Salamander Street in Leith, Edinburgh, admitted committing the offence between October 2009 and September 3 last year. Craig, of Clydebank, pled guilty to committing the offence between January 1, 2009 and September 3, last year. He now faces proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act after making money from his part.

Beukan was accused of managing prostitutes, arranging accommodation and advertising for them at various addresses in Glasgow and Aberdeen between January 2009 and September 2010.

Craig was also accused of being concerned in the supply of cocaine. All of the pleas of not guilty by each of the accused were accepted. It is understood they were the first to be charged under section 22 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003, new legislation designed to deal with a range of offences involving “traffic for prostitution”.

Scottish police forces have succeeded in freeing numerous sex workers they believe to have been trafficked, but have found it difficult to convince the victims to make formal complaints

Sheriff Sam Cathcart deferred sentencing until a later date and remanded Craig and Beukan in custody.