Four members of a human trafficking gang who brought women from Slovakia to Glasgow to be exploited have been jailed for more than 36 years.
Vojtech Gombar, 61, Anil Wagle, 37, Jana Sandorova, 28, and Ratislav Adam, 31, were found guilty of charges involving selling eight women for prostitution and slavery following a High Court trial.
Gang leader Gombar, his step-daughter Sandorova and her husband Adam, originally from Trebisov, trafficked vulnerable women from their home town with the promise of a better life and employment, prosecutors said.
The trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard the women were transported to the city, where their identification documents were taken and they were made to work as prostitutes or sold and forced into sham marriages.
One of the victims was sold to Wagle, originally from Nepal, in Argyle Street in Glasgow city centre.
Police snared the gang through a five-year international operation code-named Operation Synapsis.
Judge Lord Beckett said in his sentencing statement: "Such crimes are utterly repugnant.
"They involve the degradation of other humans, treating them as if they were objects or animals to be transported and sold for exploitation."
Gombar was jailed for 12 years and Adam for nine years.
Wagle was sentenced to eight years and six months, while Sandorova will serve seven years behind bars.
During the trial, one woman giving evidence via videolink from Slovakia said she had been offered a well-paid job in England picking potatoes but arrived in Glasgow and did not know where she was.
She said she was kept in flats before being moved to Ireland and married to a Pakistani man she did not know.
She told police in a statement that Gombar would receive 4,000 euro (£3,631) for the wedding.
A vindication for the victims
Detective Superintendent Fil Capaldi, head of Police Scotland's human trafficking unit, said: "Today's sentence is a vindication for those women who were victims of this criminal gang and of their bravery in telling us about their horrific experiences.
"It also serves as a warning to traffickers operating in Scotland - make no mistake, you are not welcome here.
"We will work with our partners nationally and internationally, and within our own local communities, to identify victims and to pursue the gangs who exploit and enslave people for financial gain, and bring them to justice."
The investigation saw a joint team established between Scottish police and prosecutors, the Crown's international co-operation unit, Europol, and the Slovakian authorities.
Catriona Bryden, procurator fiscal for sexual offences, said: "Vojtech Gombar and his associates exploited vulnerable women and treated them like chattels, forcing them into prostitution or marriage with virtual strangers for their own financial benefit without regard to the suffering they caused.
"I hope that these convictions and the sentence send a strong message to those who would seek to benefit from the trafficking and exploitation of other human beings."