A man has been jailed for a total of 31 years for offences including rape and serious sexual assault after targeting women via an online employment website. Now detectives are appealing for others who may have been similarly exploited to come forward.
Nuruzzaman Shahin, 40, of North Villas, Camden was sentenced yesterday at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
The same court found him guilty of eight counts of rape, four counts of assault by penetration, three counts of sexual assault on a female and seven counts of controlling prostitution for gain on December 1, 2022, after an eight-week trial. The offences were committed against a total of eight women.
Shahin was also issued with an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order as part of his sentence.
The court was told Shahin set up a business called Soul Mates Escort Agency, which operated prior to his initial arrest in 2018.
He trawled online employment websites for women who were looking for work across a variety of industries and would then make contact with them in an effort to recruit women into escort work, promising earnings of up to £500 a day.
Shahin would then arrange for them to attend a face-to-face interview at a residential property in north London. During the course of the interview and his ongoing contact with the victims, he committed serious sexual offences, including various instances of rape and other serious sexual assaults against them.
After Shahin’s initial arrest in 2018, a decision was made to take no further action in 2019, due to insufficient evidence to proceed.
However, in January 2020 officers from the Met’s Modern Slavery and Exploitation team from Central Specialist Crime Command set upon reviewing the risk he posed to the public.
The team worked with Justice and Care to build trust with victims and as the investigation proceeded it became clear that Shahin had coerced a number of women.
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On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, Shahin was arrested by detectives for offences which included controlling prostitution, rape and serious sexual offences. He was charged two days later and was remanded in custody.
Detective Inspector Jim Madden, from Central Specialist Crime, said: “From the outset of this investigation, the victims in this case have shown incredible bravery. This bravery has been on display yet again, with the key evidence they have provided in court during the course of this trial.
“Shahin has never acknowledged the reality of what he has done and the impact of this on the victims. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it has been, and I pay tribute to them.”
Det Insp Madden added: “I also wish to thank the investigation team who have diligently carried out the investigation into Shahin’s criminality, as well as our colleagues from Justice and Care who have been an integral part of bringing this individual to justice.
“There may be others who feel they wish to speak to us about Shahin, who until now have felt unable to come forward. Please get in touch with us. You will be treated with sensitivity and you can have confidence that you will be listened to.”
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Samira Noor-Khan, Senior Crown Prosecutor in the London North Rape and Serious Sexual Offences team said: “Shahin is a highly dangerous and devious man who exploited numerous women to satisfy his own sexual desires and for financial gain.
“Over the course of a number of years, Shahin preyed upon young women looking for work by luring them to his home address under the pretext of them being able to earn lucrative sums of money working as escorts through his agency, which in reality was a front for prostitution.”
She continued: “Once at his home address Shahin coerced and pressured the victims into engaging in sexual activity with him and proceeded to carry out serious sexual assaults on them. Some of the victims were subjected to further rape or sexual assault by Shahin and many of the victims were left deeply traumatised by his actions.
“All the victims, in this case, should be commended for their bravery in attending court. The lengthy sentence handed down to Shahin will ensure that he can never again subject women to this type of treatment.”
Anyone who thinks they may also have been victims of Shahin is being asked to call 101 quoting CAD 07131/Jan23 or in an emergency call 999.