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Plea for help over sex slaves suspect; MANHUNT: Police want to quiz Romanian over women forced into work.

Byline: Jasbir Authi

A ROMANIAN man is being sought by detectives investigating a human trafficking plot suspected of turning women into sex slaves.

West Midlands Police today stepped up their hunt, naming Antonio Tanase and calling on Birmingham Mail readers to help find him.

Detectives said they wanted to quiz 35-year-old Tanase after a woman claimed she was forced to work in a massage parlour in the Sparkbrook or Deritend areas of Birmingham. The force said it was believed he may also be able to "supply information" about another woman who was due to be exploited and a man responsible for forging Romanian travel documents.

Both said they had been threatened unless they agreed to take part, the force said.

Detectives said Tanase, also known as Pardy or Parda, may be hiding within the Romanian community in the Midlands, moving around Smethwick, Selly Oak and Balsall Heath.

Hunt:

He is known to drive an Italian registered BMW 3-series, bearing the registration plate BR 502 SX. The car was last spotted in the Smethwick area on April 30.

Since then, police have drawn a blank trying to trace him.

Tanase. All three victims have now returned to their native Romania after giving statements but police said they were concerned there could be other victims being forced into work after being trafficked into Britain.

Det Con Mark Timmins, of Smethwick CID, said: "It is a common ploy for people victims of this crime to be told that the police will arrest, beat or even murder people coming forward - this is simply not the case.

"We would like to speak to this man in connection with human trafficking and offences involving prostitution.

"We believe he has been bringing people into this country using promises of prosperity and need to speak to him urgently."

Anyone with information is urged to contact Smethwick CID on 0845 113 5000 or call the anonymous Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.

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Hunt: Antonio Tanase.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 8, 2009
Words:327
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