BRITISH police have rescued 17 victims of human trafficking, including children, during an operation held in Leeds, West Yorkshire, on November 30. All of the rescued people came from Slovakia, local police spokesperson Tony Tierney told the Sme daily.

The victims were allegedly living in very poor conditions, without access to social services. The gang took away the victims’ social benefits and forced them to work for very low pay, said local police officer Andy Williams, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

The Salvation Army is currently taking care of the victims, providing them with accommodation and basic help. Moreover, the British police are cooperating with their Slovak counterpart and checking the identity of victims. It is not yet clear when or even if they will return to Slovakia, as reported by Sme.

The police arrested eight people during the operation who are now suspected of human trafficking, abusing the social system and exploitation. As the investigation is still ongoing, the police predict they may make more arrests in connection with the case, SITA wrote.

Source: SITA, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.