Eighth person arrested in major swoop

AN eighth person has been arrested and released on police bail following an operation in Ipswich and across East Anglia and the West Country to target people trafficking and prostitution.

A 45-year-old man was arrested on Friday night in the Hertfordshire area on suspicion of a series of charges.

They include conspiracy to traffic person(s) into the UK for sexual exploitation contrary to S57 Sexual Offences Act 2003; conspiracy to traffic person(s) within the UK for sexual exploitation contrary to S58 Sexual Offences Act 2003; and conspiracy to manage/keep/act/assist in the management of a brothel for prostitution contrary to S33A Sexual Offences Act 2003.

He was released on police bail yesterday following Wednesday’s operation in the town and is due to return to Ipswich Police Station on Monday, September 6.

Seven people were initially arrested following the multi-force and multi-agency swoop.

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Suffolk Constabulary led the operation which saw officers from Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Wiltshire and Devon and Cornwall execute five warrants at premises in Ipswich, Norwich, Harwich, Swindon and Tedburn St Mary in Devon.

The UK Border Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service Complex Case Unit and the UK Human Trafficking Centre were also involved.

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Specialist officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency’s (SOCA) Vulnerable Persons Team were also utilised, as they are experienced in interviewing trafficking victims.

The seven arrests were made as a result of the operation.

Three females aged 21, 27 and 45 years old were arrested in relation to the Ipswich raid, two males aged 24 and 39 years old and a 23-year-old female were arrested in relation to the Norwich raid and a 22-year-old female was arrested in the Chelmsford area.

All seven are of Eastern European origin.

Five victims were also located following the searches. Two were located in relation to the Ipswich raid, one in relation to the Norwich raid and two in relation to the Swindon raid.

No persons were located at the Harwich or Tedburn St Mary premises but investigations are continuing.

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