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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 26 June, 2019
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Suspect in London slavery case is older than first thought

Named locally as Aravindan Balakrishnan, the suspect is 73 years old, not 67 as first stated.

Police officers patrol near flats in Brixton, south London, as police are conducting house-to-house inquires in the area where three women were allegedly held as slaves for at least 30 years were rescued.
Police officers patrol near flats in Brixton, south London, as police are conducting house-to-house inquires in the area where three women were allegedly held as slaves for at least 30 years were rescued.
Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

POLICE IN LONDON have issued a correction about a suspect’s age in the recent high profile slavery case.

In a brief note this afternoon, Scotland Yard detectives said the male suspect is 73 years old, and not 67 as first stated.

The man and woman arrested in connection with the alleged domestic servitude of three women are from India and Tanzania.

The woman is 67 years old, police confirmed again today.

It is not clear how the mistake occurred or how it was rectified.

According to the Guardian, the male suspect is a one-time Communist party activist. He was well known within far-left circles of the city during the 1970s as the leader of a separatist commune.

The website names him as Comrade Bala (or Aravindan Balakrishnan). Previously of the Communist party of England, he created his own organisation in 1974 called the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.

Earlier

Officers now believe the couple could be linked to 13 properties across the city and have continued their door-to-door enquiries.

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 Balakrishnan through their 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 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.”

Read: Slavery suspects linked to 13 properties across London

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