Seventeen arrested in London in human trafficking crackdown - THE GUARDIAN UK

NOVEMBER 14, 2019

by  Ben Quinn

Seventeen people have been arrested in early morning raids as part of a joint operation by British and Romanian police targeting an international human trafficking gang.

a sign on the side of a building: Operation Kelang involves the Met police, the CPS, Romanian police and prosecutors, Europol and Eurojust. 

© PA Operation Kelang involves the Met police, the CPS, Romanian police and prosecutors, Europol and Eurojust. 

The raids in London also led to the rescue of 29 women, aged 20 to 40, who were believed to be victims of trafficking and have been taken to a place of safety, according to the Metropolitan police.

Those detained, who are aged between 17 and 50 and include three women, were held on suspicion of modern slavery, controlling prostitution, class A drug offences and firearm offences relating to a stun gun.

A man was also arrested in the Romanian city of Constanta as police there executed warrants at the same time as British police were doing so at addresses in Redbridge, Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Brentwood and Tower Hamlets.

DCI Richard McDonagh, from the Met’s modern slavery and kidnap unit, said the synchronised operations had the aim of dismantling an organised crime network “in one fell swoop” and providing support to the victims.

“The Met recognises the seriousness of modern slavery and the devastation it brings to people’s lives,” he said.

“We have an investigative capability across frontline policing and have invested in specialist resources through our central specialist crime – vulnerability investigations team, which tackles complex cases. This allows us to target offenders and support victims.”

s “groundbreaking”, insufficient resources had been allocated to investigating the trafficking networks. He was critical of some of the government’s recent anti-slavery initiatives, such as lighting buildings including 10 Downing Street and the Home Office up with red floodlights to mark Anti-Slavery Day.


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