Aid worker denies involvement in trafficking following M6 incident

An aid worker and her cousin have appeared in court accused of a human trafficking offence.

Thursday, 7th September 2017, 9:59 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:11 pm
Police have charged two people with human trafficking offences

It comes after a man was injured following an incident on the M6 on Sunday September 3.

Officers were called at around 1.50pm to reports a man had fallen onto the carriageway from a minibus which was travelling north between junctions 33 and 34 at Lancaster.

The man remains in the Royal Preston Hospital with a serious head injury but has managed to give a statement to police.

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Romanian nationals Dinu Huma, 48 and Luiza Ramona Rugina, 36, both of no fixed address, pleaded not guilty to human trafficking at Preston Magistrates Court yesterday.

Prosecuting, Alex Mann said the case centred around the man’s claim he had overheard disturbing conversations between the pair.

It is alleged Huma and Rugina were going to bring the man into the UK to exploit him, which is a criminal offence under trafficking laws.

Rugina, who works as a lorry driver for the Red Cross in Italy, where she lives with her husband, sobbed as her brother and sister in law watched from the public gallery.

Rugina’s defence lawyer, Kevin Bamber told the hearing his client had travelled with her distant cousin, Huma, to visit her brother who lives in the UK and “vehemently denied” involvement in trafficking.

Rugina was told her bail application would be considered at Preston Crown Court tomorrow.

Huma, who communicated via an interpreter, made no application for bail.

Both will appear for a plea and trial preparation hearing on October 10.