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Woman, 29, arrested on suspicion of human trafficking

The arrest was made in the small hours of Saturday morning

PSNI police

A 29-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.

Officers from PSNI’s Serious Crime branch arrested the woman in the Tandragee Road area of Newry in the early hours of today, Saturday, February 3.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bell said: “A team of officers from the Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit, working together with local police from the Newry area, made this arrest as part of a proactive investigation into human trafficking for sexual exploitation and the activities of a criminal gang we believe is operating in Northern Ireland.

“The woman was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, controlling prostitution and money-laundering.

“She is currently in police custody, helping us with our enquiries.”

Newry and Armagh Sinn Fein MP Mickey Brady described the human trafficking as “a particularly heinous form of organised crime” and he urged people to look out for the signs of slavery.

He added: “Human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery is a particularly heinous form of organised crime which involves controlling or exploiting another person for financial gain and can include forcing someone to work against their will, refusing to pay them wages, or forcing them into prostitution.

“Vulnerable women and children in particular  are falsely enticed here by the prospects of employment, education and a better life, can find themselves the victims of domestic servitude or sexual exploitation.

“This cannot be allowed to continue. I urge people to be alert to this growing crime and to watch out for signs of slavery. Should they spot anything suspicious they should contact the Police immediately.”

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