Northern Ireland

Women rescued after human trafficking raids

Police officer

PSNI detectives have rescued four female victims of human trafficking and arrested two men.

A 20-year-old man was arrested in east Belfast where one woman was found.

Another man, 28, was arrested in Banbridge where three women were rescued.

Det Chief Insp Mark Bell said: "The arrests are part of an extensive investigation into an organised criminal gang with eastern European links."

The searches were carried out at properties on the Newtownards Road in east Belfast and at Kenlis Street in Banbridge on Thursday.

The men were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, controlling prostitution and money laundering.

They are currently in custody.

A related search was conducted in London by the Metropolitan Police but no victims were found and no one was arrested.

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