Police conduct dawn raids at '˜human trafficking brothels' in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Police carried out a number of dawn raids in Glasgow and Edinburgh as a clampdown on human trafficking across Scotland.

Saturday, 15th September 2018, 2:19 pm
Updated Saturday, 15th September 2018, 2:21 pm
Stock image of police raid gear

Ten women aged under 25 were rescued from eight addresses in Glasgow and Edinburgh after being smuggled over to work in brothels.

The action was carried out by police as part of a vow to destroy sex slave gangs and stop Scotland’s human trafficking crisis.

During the raids. which also had an elite squad of Romanian officers present, at least two people, were arrested.

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A flat in Edinburgh’s Lochview Court, near the Scottish parliament, was one of the properties raided, with ten women rescued in the operation in total.

Detective Inspector Stuart McNidder who led the operation said: “These women have been expl­oited daily.”

He also said that this was just the start and further nationwide swoops were planned following reports of suspected sex gangs up by 42 per cent.

Speaking to the Sun he said: “We had intelligence that a Romanian group were trafficking females to Scotland for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

“The activity, which involved searching eight addresses, is as a result of our investigations so far.

“I have been investigating this for six to eight weeks. It’s been quick because potentially there are females being exploited on a daily basis.

“Investigating organised crime usually takes so much longer but we had to go quickly as the welfare of victims is ultimately more important than convictions.

“By searching the addresses we are hoping to identify whether they were run as brothels.

“This is one particular crime group but we are investigating others across the country.”

A first-floor flat in Bridge Street in Glasgow was also one of the properties raided.

Another of the Glasgow addresses was beside Central Station. Other victims were found in the east end.

Ten women — all under 25 — were freed during the multi-agency operation.

A man, 29, and woman aged 30 were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking in Tollcross, Glasgow.

Det Insp McNidder added: “The success is we have managed to remove ten victims. It’s more about the victims but if we are able to get convictions then that’s great.”

Police Scotland said it was “crucial” that the public continue to report suspicions to the authorities.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: “People are trafficked for a variety of purposes, including commercial sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, forced criminality and domestic servitude — all for the profit or personal gain of the traffickers.

“They are often trafficked across international borders, but also within Scotland.”

He added: “It is alarming that of the 213 referrals last year, 61 of those involved children.”