Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Human trafficking: Twenty 'victims rescued' amid police operation in Co Armagh

Human trafficking: Twenty 'victims rescued' amid police operation in Co Armagh
Human trafficking: Twenty 'victims rescued' amid police operation in Co Armagh

Twenty potential victims of human trafficking have been rescued in Co Armagh.

The victims - all Romanian nationals - were found at two locations at various stages since Wednesday last week.

Those rescued include 14 men and six women, aged between 20 and 48.

Three men aged - 23, 27 and 31 - have been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, forced labour and slavery and money laundering.

They are currently being quizzed by police.

Two properties have been searched and three vehicles seized as part of the operation.

Justice Minister David Ford congratulated the police on the rescue of the potential victims of human trafficking.

"The trafficking of a human being for profit is a heinous crime and should not be tolerated in any community," he said.

"I welcome the action by the PSNI which has led to the rescue of 20 potential victims of human trafficking in Co Armagh and would urge all members of the community to be vigilant to this terrible crime."

PSNI detective inspector Todd Clements described the investigation as a "fast-moving and complex operation which may continue for some time".

"The 20 people we have identified as potential victims of human trafficking for labour exploitation are in places of safety now. Our inquiries are continuing."

It comes after thirteen children aged as young as one were among the Afghan Sikhs rescued from a container on at Tilbury Docks in England on Saturday.

Members of the 35-strong group found screaming and banging after arriving at the Essex port from Belgium have finished speaking to police and are now being cared for by Home Office officials, Essex Police said.

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