Dozens arrested in cross-border human trafficking operation

Ten people detained in the UK during series of raids as part of international operation led by Police Scotland.

Police have arrested 24 people suspected of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Ten individuals were detained in the UK following an internationally co-ordinated operation led by Police Scotland.

Fourteen suspects are being held by Romanian police.

A number of potential trafficking victims were also recovered from several of the addresses in the UK and Romania.

Various locations were targeted in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a joint day of enforcement involving simultaneous deployments across Scotland, England and Romania.  

During the operation, police attended four premises in Glasgow and Aberdeen, five in England (Leicester, Coventry and Northampton) as well as 23 addresses across Romania.

Detective Inspector Adrian Wallis, who led the operation, said: “Today’s enforcement action was the result of a lengthy investigation, with Police Scotland working alongside our counterparts in Romania.

“The arrests made today are the result of working closely with our partners in the NCA and officers in Romania over the last 12 months, to identify those involved in this exploitation.”

Officers from Police Scotland’s National Human Trafficking Unit worked with the National Crime Agency and Romanian Police’s Directorate for Countering Organized Crime – Trafficking in Human Beings Department.

Further support was provided by officers from Leicestershire, West Midlands and Northamptonshire police forces.

Detective Superintendent Fil Capaldi, head of Police Scotland’s National Human Trafficking Unit said: “Human trafficking, exploitation and modern slavery has no place in Scotland.

“Organised Crime Groups who enslave and traffic people do it for no other reason than financial gain.

“People are treated as a commodity that can be bought and sold, and the traffickers have no thought or consideration for the impact of their actions on their victims or for the communities in which the victims are exploited.”

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