Arrests in London and Romania sex trafficking raids

Published
Met Police raid
Image caption,
A previous raid by the Met aimed at uncovering sex trafficking

Fourteen people have been arrested in London and Romania on suspicion of trafficking women into an escort business in the capital.

Two men and four women, aged 25 to 39, were held following raids at six sites across the capital.

Two trafficked Romanian women were discovered at the properties, who will receive medical treatment and support.

Ten raids in Romania, targeting the same organised crime group, led to seven men and one woman being arrested.

Addresses in Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Camden were raided in the UK operation.

A Samurai Sword was seized along with Class A drugs, cash and other high value goods.

The raids followed an investigation into links between organised crime and human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Large profits were believed to have been laundered through UK banks and sent back to Romanian crime bosses.

Det Insp Jim Madden, of the Met's Specialist Crime Command, said they would continue to search for vulnerable women and the traffickers exploiting them for profit to "uncover the true scale of this illegal operation".

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
A Samurai sword was seized from a London property in this raid

"Unfortunately, this type of exploitation is still happening across London," he said.

"The Met's Modern Slavery Team works around the clock to identify people involved in human trafficking and those who are subsequently sexually exploited, and we play a role in protecting and supporting hundreds of victims each year."

Met officers worked alongside Eurojust and the Romanian National Police on the cross-continental operation.

The Romanian National Police seized four cars, worth about £212,000 (250,000 euros) and have also applied to seize assets totalling £850,000 (1m euros).

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