27th September 2006 |
19th May 2007
22 (2006 Episodes)
In a two-part special of The Bill, DS Phil Hunter and DS Sam Nixon head to Romania on a dangerous mission to find a missing woman and unravel a sex trafficking racket.
Sergeant June Ackland and PC Diane Noble are shocked when a badly beaten up woman runs out in front of their patrol car. Troubled by her severe injuries, they seek to find out the identity of the victim. They soon discover that the woman, Maya Hadzic, is a Croat and a witness saw her escaping from a transit van. DS Stuart Turner heads up the investigation and it becomes evident that they are investigating more than a straight-forward assault case - the transit van is traced to an address where they discover a group of trafficked women imprisoned in squalor. During a search of the house, a number of passports, including Maya’s, are found indicating that there are many more women involved.
Meanwhile, Andrei Balev tells Phil and Sam that he’s having second thoughts about giving evidence against people trafficker, Desislav Grubo. When Phil reminds Andrei that his chances of asylum may be affected if he’s no longer in witness protection, Andrei admits that he’s concerned for his wife, Petia. He tells them that she should have been smuggled into the country but has gone missing - he fears that she’s been snatched by Grubo and his gang. Sam gives a distraught Andrei her word that she will help him find his wife.
Phil traces the owner of the house and discovers that the landlord is a man called Radu Gilca. When questioned, Radu claims that he knows nothing about the women as his property is managed by a lettings agency. However, he becomes prime suspect when Diane comes across a video tape at the house. The tape shows a line-up of women and when Andrei translates the footage, he confirms that the women are being sold. To his horror, Andrei sees Petia on the film being assaulted by Radu. But, when Sam and Phil go to arrest Radu, they discover that he’s already fled to Bucharest. Much to their surprise, Superintendent Heaton has booked them both on the next flight to Romania. The race is on to find the missing Petia and the man who holds the key to her whereabouts…
At Sun Hill, Stuart, with the help of SOCA agent Benjamin Leesing, heads up the UK operation while Sam and Phil meet with Detective Inspector Bogdan in Romania. Bogdan fills them in on Radu’s cousin, Cezar Nastase, a known trafficker who his team have been investigating for months. He also introduces them to Irina Dobrescu who runs a women’s refuge and will assist with the investigation. While Sam heads off to the refuge with Irina, Phil checks out one of Nastase’s clubs. He thinks he’s spotted Radu so he enters the club posing as a sex tourist. But, when Nastase approaches, Phil can’t resist the opportunity to pose as a buyer in the market for ‘fresh meat’. Initially suspicious, Nastase soon changes his mind and agrees to sell Phil some girls that night at the market. In the meantime, he allows Phil to ‘sample’ one of the girls before he buys. Phil chooses Hajna and, when they’re alone, he tells her he’s a police officer and needs her help tracing Petia. Phil gets a lead when Hajna reconises Petia from her picture – she used to work at the club but she was sold on for being too stubborn.
Later that evening, Phil heads to the market to meet Nataste under the watchful eye of Inspector Bogdan – he is angry with Phil for butting in on his investigation but he’s also concerned for his safety. However, the sting goes horribly wrong when Nataste receives a call on his mobile and Phil’s cover is blown – it’s clear someone is tipping off their suspect. The situation gets even more dangerous for Sam and Phil when they are shot at in their car and chased through the streets of Bucharest. Now prime-targets, Sam and Phil take refuge in a small B&B where they find comfort in each other’s arms…
This episode is part one of two special episodes filmed on location in Romania.