A taxi driver has saved a woman from a sex trafficker after he refused to drive her to the man’s brothel.
Tahir Mehmood saved the vulnerable eastern European hotel worker from a life of suffering in the underground sex trade when he noticed her distress on a routine journey in his home town of Coventry.
The cabbie had initially been hailed by Robert Enescu, 26, who asked if he could ferry the woman to a location across the city.
Yet during the ride, Mr Mehmood’s passenger broke down into floods of tears and revealed that Enescu had lured her to the UK on the false promise of a masseuse job and had forced her into illegal sex work.
Mr Mehmood, a married father of two, immediately called the police who later arrested and charged Enescu.
He denied being involved in trafficking the woman, who had arrived at Luton Airport on February 16 but was charged, found guilty and jailed for nine years in his absence, having jumped bail.
Police rescued the Romanian woman on February 20, 2018, and the next day officers raided the brothel to rescue several other suspected sex slaves.
Mr Mehmood is now in line for a commendation from West Midlands Police after saving the married victim from being forced into the sex trade.
A wanted appeal has now been issued and West Midlands Police is working with forces across the UK and Europol to bring him Enescu to justice.
Police have now released officer bodycam footage of the moment cops responded to a 999 call from the hero cabbie – and found the victim in the rear of his cab.
Married dad-of-two Tahir, from Coventry, described how he was flagged down by Enescu – but then became suspicious after being left alone with the woman.
He said: ‘The man asked me if I could take her to St Christian Road.
‘The lady got in the cab. When I go a little, the lady was upset. She was crying.
‘I said “What’s up love? Why are you crying?” I stopped the taxi and said, “Just tell me what’s happened”.
‘She said “I don’t know here, I just came here four days before, come to here to do massage, but they tell me to go to prostitution, to do sex, but I don’t want to do it. Can you help me go back to my country? The man said I got to do prostitution sex but I don’t want to do it”.
‘I said “Ok, I’ll call the police and they can help you. Don’t worry, the police will sort, the police will help you”.
‘Then I dialled 999 and the police came and I told them everything. They spoke to her and she came out of the cab and they took her to the police station.
When she came out of the cab, I said “Are you alright? Are you happy?” She said, “Yes”. The police said “That’s good mate, well done”.’
The dad-of-two added: ‘I knew what to do because when I passed my test to be a taxi driver we were told everything, to help the customer, and to ring the police if you’re suspicious about something.
‘I’ve been a taxi driver since 2004 but nothing like this happened before.
‘If I know somebody needs help, I will do. If somebody needs an ambulance I will call. I’m going to help, I’ll try my best to help.’ I told my wife and sons. They are happy about it.’