London: A group of men, mostly of Pakistani origin, accused of exploiting teenage girls have been charged with rape, sexual assault and trafficking in the West Midlands region of England.
The 10 men were charged yesterday following an investigation into allegations of abuse of five girls aged between 16 and 18 in Coventry.
"Protecting young people from harm is a priority for West Midlands Police and the force takes reports of sexual and physical abuse extremely seriously," said Coventry Chief Inspector Sue Holder.
"Anyone convicted of sexual exploitation, in whatever form, can expect to be dealt with severely by the courts," she added.
Gulfraz Banaris, 20, his 25-year-old brother Ifaraz and Izthkhab Banaris, 24, have been charged with conspiracy to traffic girls across the city for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
Gulfraz and Izthkhab are also both accused of rape.
All three appeared before Coventry magistrates yesterday and were remanded to appear at Coventry Crown Court on November 7.
Isa Iqbal, 21, and his 20-year-old brother Ismail, both cousins of the Banaris brothers, also face trafficking charges and have been remanded until November.
Ricardo Hinkson, 23, sign writer Amir Mahmood, 27, and milkman Tasveer Hussain, 30, are due to appear at Coventry Magistrates Court charged with conspiracy to traffic within the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
Mechanic Saleem Hussain, 30, and Khezer Hussain, 25, are also due before magistrates to face charges of sexual assault and rape.
West Midlands Police said the five alleged victims are safe and continue to be supported by specially trained officers from the force`s Public Protection Unit (PPU) along with agencies including Coventry City Council Children`s Services.
The sexual grooming of teenagers was strongly condemned by Muslim leaders across the UK in a sermon back in June following the conviction of a group of seven men belonging to a sex grooming ring in Oxford.
All seven were Muslims of Pakistani and Eritrean descent, leading to community leaders sending out a strong message that the Quran emphasised on the protection of children and the vulnerable.