A CHINESE national, who was responsible for operating a network of properties used by organised crime groups for prostitution or cannabis farms, has pleaded guilty to 22 fraud, false ID and money laundering offences.
Feng Xu, 43, (pictured) today changed his pleas to the charges to guilty at Birmingham Crown Court.
He pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with the rental of 18 properties across the whole country, including two luxury farm houses.
National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators believe he actually sourced hundreds of properties for a number of organised crime networks.
An NCA spokesman said: "One computer database held by Xu listed 446 different addresses which he had been involved in renting.
"The properties would then be set up as brothels where women would be exploited. Others were turned into cannabis farms."
They included a farm house in Downton-on-the-Rock, Herefordshire, and a large home in Newent, Gloucestershire.
Xu used the name Fok Long to rent Stallion Hill House on the outskirts of the market town in December 2016.
In February this year NCA officers raided the address and found it had been turned into a cannabis factory.
In May they raided Hillpike Farm House in Downton-on-the-Rock and found another cannabis farm set up.
He was charged with allowing the production of cannabis there as far back as August 2018 and also with allowing the production of cannabis at Stallion Hill House.
He denied them, plus possession of criminal property (around £87,000 cash).
Those offences will lie on file.
SEARCH: Officers from the NCA raid Xu's Birmingham flat in May
NCA officers arrested Xu at his home address in Holliday Street, Birmingham on Tuesday May 14 as part of a major investigation into modern slavery and human trafficking.
The spokesman said: "Investigators found evidence that Xu had used multiple false identities to source hundreds of different properties for a number of criminal networks.
"Thirty one different false or fraudulent Chinese or Portuguese passports were also recovered, along with numerous ID documents."
He also pleaded guilty to possessing several UK driving licences for improper purposes, having false employment references, false payslips, false utility bills and false bank statements and money laundering between May 2015 and May this year.
Other names he used to rent properties were Chao Lee, Hanjing Wang, Quing Dong Zhongxing Zheng, Jiatian Zheng, Chao Chen and Chui Lee.
The other properties were rented in Waterlooville, Hampshire, Eastbourne, Hastings and Worthing in Sussex, London, Banbury in Oxfordshire, Huddersfield and Barnsley in West Yorkshire, Lincoln, Cheltenham, Northampton and Birmingham.
NCA branch commander Matt Rivers said: “Xu was a prolific operator, and an important enabler for multiple different criminal networks involved in prostitution, sexual exploitation and drug production.
“Using numerous false identities and false documentation he was able to supply hundreds of different properties across the UK.
“We believe that taking him out will have caused significant disruption to a number of different organised crime groups involved in sex trafficking and drug production.
“Tackling modern slavery and human trafficking remains one of our highest priorities, but we still need the public to help, be our eyes and ears and alert us to activity in their communities that may be concerning them.
“If you have suspicions about activity that may be linked to exploitation please call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700, or the police on 101.”
Xu will be sentenced next month.