Two Arrested On Suspicion Of Human Trafficking

A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking following an investigation into suspected labour exploitation.

The arrests were made by the PSNI's Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU) as part of the National Crime Agency's latest phase of Operation Aidant, a two-week co-ordinated series of operational intensifications on modern slavery and human trafficking.

A 42-year-old man and 31-year-old woman were arrested in the Antrim Road area of North Belfast and were taken to Musgrave Street where they are currently being questioned by police.

Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell from the MSHTU said: "We are continually targeting the people involved in all types of human trafficking and are pleased to support the NCA in this two-week period of intensification focusing on adults who have been trafficked to the UK, or exploited in the UK, for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

"It can be hard to believe that this type of crime exists today as it remains quite hidden, but it does and it could be happening in any street and in any town in Northern Ireland.
News Image
"Victims are often afraid to speak out or unable to report their ordeal to police for a number of reasons including language barriers or simply because they are held captive. It's for this reason we all need to work together to help victims and stop this unacceptable crime.

"It's important for people to be aware of goings-on in their communities and keep a look out for a number of tell-tale signs. These include people who can't produce their passport or personal documents, who appear to be under the control of others or who have unexplained injuries, live in over-crowded accommodation or those who appear not to have any cash as they are not allowed to keep the money they earn.

"The PSNI's MSHTU was established in 2015 to provide a dedicated proactive approach to tackling this complex crime and we also provide an on call facility, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support frontline police and other agencies and statutory organisations we work with in Northern Ireland to detect, disrupt and frustrate organised crime gangs involved in human exploitation. Modern slavery is unacceptable as it violates human rights and denies victims their rights to life, freedom and safety."

Anyone with suspicions can call the police service on 101 or the Modern Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 January 2020
Sudden Co Armagh Death Sparks Police Operation
Police are investigating after the sudden death of a man in Co Armagh. It's understood the man passed away in the Lake Road area of Craigavon on Thursday night, 16 January. An investigation has been launched to determine the circumstances surrounding his death. No further details have been released as yet.
19 August 2014
Men Charged After 20 Trafficking Victims Rescued
Two men have been charged by detectives investigating labour exploitation after 20 people thought to have been victims of human trafficking were rescued in a major police operation. Detectives from the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch arrested three men as part of the operation, which has been running for several days.
26 October 2012
33 Victims Of Human Trafficking In 2011/12
33 potential victims of human trafficking were recovered in Northern Ireland during 2011/12. Of that number, eighteen were female. Seventeen of those females were trafficked for sexual exploitation, while one was trafficked for labour exploitation.
04 July 2012
Recession Boosts Violent Loan Sharks
Illegal loan sharks have carried out physical attacks on people who owe them money in Northern Ireland. A report by the Organised Crime Task Force found that criminals are taking advantage of Northern Ireland's high levels of personal debt to target people on benefits, with drug problems, or running small businesses.
23 June 2009
Assets Recovery Praised
Some £30m of illegal drugs and other assets were seized from organised criminals in NI last year by law enforcement agencies. This is according to the Organised Crime Task Force's (OCTF) annual report which is published on Tuesday.