Metropolitan Police officers have executed a number of warrants as part of a proactive operation targeting the human trafficking and sexual exploitation of females from Romania into and around the U.K., by a well-established organized criminal network.
Four men and two women have been arrested for modern slavery offenses following a pre-planned operation by officers from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command. Officers have been working in conjunction with the Romanian authorities on this enquiry.
Five warrants were executed on March 30, in Station Road, Hindes Road and Stirling Road in Harrow. They were carried out with assistance from officers from the Territorial Support Group (TSG). One address visited was identified as a brothel. 14 women who were found at the addresses are now receiving support from specialist officers.
Those arrested are aged between 22 and 37 years-old. They have been arrested for a variety of offenses, including on suspicion of holding a person in slavery, human trafficking, controlling prostitution and money laundering.
Searches at the addresses are ongoing and enquiries continue.
Acting Detective Inspector Nick Bland from Central Specialist Crime, said this type of exploitation is still happening across London and the U.K. “We believe there are victims of modern slavery in every borough across London and the public may encounter them every day, possibly without realizing. As well as being sexually exploited, victims have been found working in construction, domestic servitude, agriculture, cannabis factories and in places you use yourself, such as car washes, barbers and nail bars.
“Victims are often told the police and authorities in the U.K. are not to be trusted and with limited English the victims are unable to seek help, even if they want to.”