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Suspect brought back from Spain

Police officer placing an offender in handcuff

A man has been extradited from Spain to the UK today (5 December) to face eight charges as part of a South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) investigation into human trafficking.

Mark Viner, 61, was arrested at his home in Sitges, near Barcelona, on October 24 by Spanish police officers accompanied by officers from the SW ROCU. He was remanded in custody in Spain pending his extradition back to the UK.

Mr Viner is charged with eight offences:

  • Two offences of human trafficking.
  • Two offences of controlling prostitution for gain.
  • Two offences of managing or keeping a brothel.
  • One offence of entering into an arrangement to acquire the proceeds of crime.
  • One offence of concealing, disguising, converting, transferring or removing the proceeds of crime.

The charges relate to the trafficking of women from Brazil to work in brothels in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and follow a two-year investigation supported by officers from Gloucestershire and Avon and Somerset police forces, together with the CPS and Europol.

A further five people – four men from Essex, Bracknell and Cheltenham and one woman from Bristol – have been arrested as part of the case in connection with trafficking, sexual exploitation and money laundering offences. They are currently released under investigation.

Mr Viner is due to appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Friday 6 December.