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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 28 January 2021

Victims of human trafficking gang rescued from Belfast brothels

Two suspects were arrested as part of the European operation.

File photo
File photo
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland and Sweden worked together for a number of months to rescue potential victims of human trafficking, two of whom were found in Belfast.

Operation Burgrave also saw two female suspects arrested. The 27-year-old and 20-year-old are due to appear at Belfast Crown Court this afternoon on foot of European Arrest Warrants obtained by Swedish authorities. They were both detained during a number of searches in the city yesterday. Police believe some of the premises raided were being used as brothels.

Once court approval is granted, they will be flown to Stockholm to face charges there. The PSNI investigation will continue while legal proceedings are conducted.

The organised crime group is suspected of involvement in controlling prostitution and human trafficking across Northern Ireland, Romania and Sweden. Inquiries into suspected money laundering are also underway. A number of items, including documents, phones and computers, were retrieved during the searches and will be subject to detailed examinations.

The victims have been taken to a safe place where they are being interviewed by specifically-trained officers.

Read: Three men arrested in relation to 2011 murder case

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