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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 20 January, 2020
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Two arrested as part of human trafficking ring

Two men remain in custody after allegedly luring Latvian women to Ireland and forcing them to marry.

Image: Google Maps

GARDAÍ have remanded two men in custody as part of investigations into a human trafficking ring running between this country and Latvia, after officers freed two women from a Dublin flat over the weekend where they were being held against their will.

The women had been brought from Latvia on the premise that the men arranging their travel to Ireland had found jobs for them – but were then held in a flat over a shop in Palmerstown in west Dublin after the men allegedly demanded that they marry two Asian men.

One of the women was able to text home to Latvia where friends alerted the local police, who in turn notified Gardaí here. The Asian men – one from India and the other from Pakistan – are said to have wanted to marry the women so that they would be entitled to Latvian passports, which would allow them to live and work freely within the European Union.

The Irish Times says Gardaí believe one of the men – the identity of which was known to one of the women, which helped lead to his arrest – has been organising regular sham marriages for money in Ireland.

That chief suspect is a 23 year-old from India, while his accomplice is a 32-year-old Pakistani man. The former, it believes, is only on Ireland on a student visa.

The two are being held at Ballyfermot Garda Station.

The investigation comes as part of a larger crackdown on sham marriages in Ireland, with estimates believing that up to 15% of all marriages in Ireland are bogus.

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Gavan Reilly

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