UK Border Agency Immigration staff and Police Officers in Sussex have arrested 2 men and 1 woman on suspicion of running brothels at addresses in Eastbourne on the south coast of England.
Search warrants were executed on Wednesday 22 December under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, with the aim of targeting and disrupting those engaged in ‘people trafficking’ for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Officers found 3 adult women workers – 1 Chinese, 1 English and 1 Russian – at alleged brothels in Ashford Road and Royal Parade. The women were not arrested and are being treated as witnesses. A private address was also searched.
Inspector Adam Hays said:
‘I am pleased with the results of today’s joint operation between Sussex Police and the UK Border Agency. The execution of these warrants is part of our continued determination to bring to justice those involved in people trafficking.
‘The operation was low-key and intended to disrupt premises that we believe or suspect are being used to sexually exploit men and women under the cover of a legitimate premises.
‘Those being exploited are often brought to the UK from poorer countries and, as a consequence, they are either unaware that they are being exploited or they may not outwardly object to being so exploited. In some cases they are juveniles with little concept of how they are being treated. Sussex Police will not prosecute these individuals; they are victims of crime and are treated as such.
‘The purpose of the operation is to target, disrupt and prosecute their handlers and those involved in orchestrating and perpetuating what is an international criminal enterprise.’
Daniel Searle, Head of the UK Border Agency’s Sussex local immigration team, said:
‘Human trafficking is a shocking and brutal form of organised crime where victims may be coerced, deceived or forced into the control of others who cruelly and inhumanely seek to profit from their suffering.
‘Through working with the police and other law enforcement agencies, the UK Border Agency is determined to make Britain a more hostile place for people traffickers and those who profit from organised immigration crime.’
A 32-year-old man, a 49-year old man and a 43-year-old woman, all from Eastbourne, were held in custody for questioning.
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