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Pair charged after four women rescued in human trafficking probe

Two men have been charged with human trafficking after four women were rescued by police following raids in Belfast and Banbridge.

The pair, aged 20 and 28, are due to appear before Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

They are accused of a number of offences, including conspiracy to traffic within the UK for exploitation, controlling prostitution and concealing criminal property.

One woman was discovered in east Belfast, where the 20-year-old man was arrested.

The other three women were found in Banbridge, where police arrested the 28-year-old man.

Earlier Det Chief Insp Mark Bell said: "The arrests are part of an extensive investigation into an organised criminal gang with eastern European links."

The searches were carried out at properties on the Newtownards Road in east Belfast and at Kenlis Street in Banbridge on Thursday.

A related search was conducted in London by the Metropolitan Police but no victims were found and no one was arrested.

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