Woman bailed over 'FGM conspiracy' following Heathrow arrest

Border control at Heathrow Airport
Image caption Officers were conducting an FGM awareness operation at Heathrow

A woman arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation (FGM) has been released on police bail.

The 42-year-old was about to board a flight travelling to Ghana via Amsterdam when she was held by officers on Friday.

The woman, from Northampton, is a British national born in Zimbabwe.

Northamptonshire Police said it was investigating the case to establish whether an offence had been committed.

The BBC understands the woman has been reunited with her eight-year-old daughter, who had been taken into the care of social workers after her arrest.

Police and UK Border Force officers carried out an operation at the airport to raise awareness and to coincide with the International Day of Zero Tolerance of FGM.

Officers from Project Azure, the Met Police response to tackling FGM, distributed health passports, checked luggage and spoke to passengers from places of "prevalence" for FGM, including Kenya, Doha and Abu Dhabi.

Female genital mutilation

  • FGM includes procedures that alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons
  • About 140 million girls and women worldwide are living with the consequences of FGM
  • Dangers include severe bleeding, problems urinating, infections, infertility, complications in childbirth and increased risk of death for newborns

Source: World Health Organisation

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