Devon

Two arrested over 'slavery' offences in Barnstaple

Police car
Image caption Det Sgt Heather Smith said the investigation was still in its early stages but the arrests were a positive result

Two people have been arrested over suspected modern slavery offences involving illegal immigrants.

A woman, 26, was arrested on Monday in Barnstaple, Devon, on suspicion of human trafficking and money laundering.

A man aged 33, originally from Vietnam, was arrested on suspicion of being in the country illegally.

Two illegal immigrants found working in Barnstaple by the UK Immigration Service two weeks ago are suspected victims of labour exploitation.

The pair are both from Vietnam. Social services and Devon and Cornwall Police are caring for them.

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Police said they executed a warrant on Monday under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 at an address in the Newport Road area with immigration officers, before attending a business premises in the town centre where the arrested the pair.

The woman, from Barnstaple, has been released on bail until 27 June, while the man is being dealt with by the UK Immigration Service.

Det Sgt Heather Smith said: "Modern slavery and human trafficking are happening in North Devon and anyone responsible for exploiting people will be dealt with."

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