In March, Coronation Street bosses revealed Seb Franklin (Harry Visinoni) is set for a harrowing sex trafficking storyline that will see him fighting to save lives. The huge story kicks off this week as Seb meets the woman who will reel him into the dangerous world of the Eastern European trafficking ring.
Seb starts up his handyman business and is chuffed when he gets called for a job at the pub. Salon owner Rachel pops into the pub and happens to chat about needing a loo fixed at her salon, and Jenny (Sally Ann Matthews) recommends Seb. He arrives and meets manicurist Alina (Ruxandra Porojnicu).
The pair hit it off and Seb ends up taking her for a date, but when she spots Jan (Piotr Bauman) out with Eileen (Sue Cleaver) she makes her excuses and legs it.
But when he later catches up with her they get on so well he even confides in her that he’s HIV positive. She’s sympathetic and ends up giving him her number, but he has no idea what he’s just got himself into.
Seb is in for a horrifying discovery when he learns the truth about Alina and how many lives are at risk. It’ll also become clear Jan is not all he seems. Will Seb be able to survive whatever these gangleaders get him involved in?
Coronation Street producer, Iain McLeod said: ‘This is one of the biggest hidden scandals in the UK today. Our research has shown us that in many towns and cities across Britain, people are being forced to work against their will, living in extreme poverty and in fear for their safety, all so ruthless criminal gangs can get rich at their expense.
‘We are keen to highlight that slavery hides in plain sight – the salon which does your nails for a too-good-to-be-true price, the car wash which valets your hatchback for half the going rate… these could all be staffed by people who are being coerced, threatened and exploited.
‘Yes, they might seem upbeat and friendly to talk to – but is there something darker and more tragic going on that we don’t stop to notice? If you’re getting a service for a price that seems unreal, ask yourself how that’s possible.’
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