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Police officers stand outside properties as police conduct house-to-house enquires in the area where three women were freed in south London.
Police officers stand outside properties as police conduct house-to-house enquires in the area where three women were freed in south London.
Image: Matt Dunham/AP/Press Association Images

Slavery suspects linked to 13 properties across London

British media have reported this morning that the investigation has been widened by Met police.
Nov 25th 2013, 8:11 AM 15,130 15

THE CASE OF the suspected domestic servitude of three women in London continues to shock the public as police try to unravel a complicated set of circumstances.

According to reports in local media, the two suspects have been linked to 13 properties across the city and the apartment the three women were rescued from is said to be just one piece in the puzzle.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the youngest of the victims – a British woman, aged 30, who has spent her whole life in forced labour – was infatuated with a neighbour and sent him numerous letters revealing her situation and professing her love.

Although police confirmed that she has a birth certificate, there is no other official documentation available about the woman. Detectives also say she lived with the suspects all her life.

They believe the other two victims met the male suspect – a 67-year-old Indian – through a shared political ideology before living together in a “collective”.

“The people involved, the nature of that collective and how it operated is all subject to our investigation and we are slowly and painstakingly piecing together more information,” said Commander Steve Rodhouse.

“Somehow that collective came to an end and how the women ended up continuing to live with the suspects. How this resulted in the women living in this way for over 30 years is what are seeking to establish, but we believe emotional and physical abuse has been a feature of all the victims’ lives.”

Freedom Charity, which was involved in the rescue of the three women on 25 October, have seen a huge increase in demand for their helpline in recent days.

Speaking about the specific case, founder Aneeta Prem said:

“These women have had traumatic and disturbing experiences, which they have revealed to us.  What needs to happen now is that the three victims, who have begun a long process of recovery, are able to go through their rehabilitation undisturbed, without being identified.”

Scotland Yard officers continued door-to-door enquiries yesterday, asking neighbours to recall details about the five residents.

The two suspects have been bailed.

Earlier: Neighbours saw slavery case women walking near flats ‘every day’

Read: Concerns over Irish procedures for handling domestic slavery cases

Met Police: Slavery suspects originally from India and Tanzania

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Sinead O'Carroll

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