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Radio Sandwell News

Women held as slaves for 30 years

2013-11-21 17:31:51

The women, were said to be "highly traumatised"

Three women have been "rescued" from a house in south London as police investigate claims they were held as slaves for about 30 years.

Police arrested two suspects, a 67-year-old man and a 67-year-old woman.

Last month officers were contacted by Freedom Charity after it received a call from a woman saying she had been held against her will for decades.

A Malaysian woman, 69, an Irish woman, 57, and a British woman, 30, were all rescued from the house, police said.

The women, who are said to be "highly traumatised", are now in safe accommodation.

'Absolutely terrified'

Det Insp Kevin Hyland, from the Metropolitan Police's Human Trafficking Unit, said: "We applaud the actions of Freedom Charity and are working in partnership to support these victims who appear to have been held for over 30 years.

"We have launched an extensive investigation to establish the facts surrounding these very serious allegations.

"A television documentary on forced marriages relating to the work of Freedom Charity was the catalyst that prompted one of the victims to call for help and led to their rescue."

Aneeta Prem, founder of Freedom Charity, told Sky News the alleged victims were able to walk out of the house after receiving help from the charity.

She said: "We started in-depth to talks to them when they could. It had to be pre-arranged. They gave us set times when they were able to speak to us.

"It was planned that they would be able to walk out of the property. The police were on standby."

The two people who were arrested were considered the "heads of the family", Ms Prem said, adding that the rescued women felt they were in "massive danger" and were "absolutely terrified".

Source: bbc.co.uk

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