Gardaí Arrest Six In Human Trafficking Raid

At the same time as gardaí were today making six arrests following a series of raids on suspected brothels across the Irish Republic - the PSNI was also carrying out raids in Co Down.

They have arresting a man in Newry after searching a flat as part of what has turned out to be a major British Isles-wide operation against human trafficking.

A total of nine suspected brothels were searched in Cavan, Drogheda, Athlone, Mullingar, Sligo, Kilkenny, Enniscorthy, Newbridge and Waterford, while a further six premises were raided in Carlow.

The operation targeted gangs believed to be involved in human trafficking and prostitution, and follow an international investigation, which involved gardaí, the PSNI and the British Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

Four women and two men were arrested on suspicion of organising prostitution in the Republic and simultaneous searches took place in Northern Ireland and in Wales as part of the same investigation.

In Pembrokeshire, a 47-year-old Irish man and a 31-year-old South African woman were arrested by SOCA officers in connection with human trafficking for sexual exploitation and control of prostitution.

Bob Lauder, Regional Director, SOCA, said: "Make no mistake - people trafficking is a serious crime. These are not willing participants, they are victims, and this trade destroys their lives and their families’ lives." He added: "Joint working with the PSNI, An Garda Siochana, Dyfed Powys Police and UK Border Agency have resulted in these arrests. "I want to thank all our partners who were intrinsic to the success of this operation."

Those arrested in the Republic are being held at garda stations in Carlow, Kildare, Naas, Kilkenny and Tullamore.


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