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Agents to be warned over false identities used to source hundreds of properties

Tuesday 22 October 2019

A Chinese national has plead guilty to 22 counts of fraud, false ID and money laundering offences by operating a network of properties used by organised crime groups for prostitution or cannabis farms.

National Crime Agency (NCA) officers arrested Feng Xu as part of a major investigation into modern slavery and human trafficking and found evidence that Xu had used multiple false identities to source hundreds of different properties for several criminal networks.

31 different false or fraudulent Chinese or Portuguese passports were recovered, along with numerous ID documents and one computer database held by Xu listed 446 different addresses which he had been involved in renting. 

The properties would then be set up as brothels where women would be exploited. Others were turned into cannabis farms.

National Crime Agency branch commander Matt Rivers said: “Xu was a prolific operator, and an important enabler for multiple different criminal networks involved in prostitution, sexual exploitation and drug production.

“Using numerous false identities and false documentation he was able to supply hundreds of different properties across the UK.

“We believe that taking him out will have caused significant disruption to a number of different organised crime groups involved in sex trafficking and drug production.

“Tackling modern slavery and human trafficking remains one of our highest priorities, but we still need the public to help, be our eyes and ears and alert us to activity in their communities that may be concerning them.

“If you have suspicions about activity that may be linked to exploitation please call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700, or the police on 101.”

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