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Police in £1m crackdown on brothels across Westminster

Raids by ‘modern day slavery’ team of officers combat the exploitation of ‘vulnerable victims’

24 April, 2020 — By Tom Foot

Police seized luxury cars and expensive watches during this week’s operation as they served premises with brothel closure orders

DETECTIVES raided four brothels this week, making arrests for slavery and money laundering and seizing £1million of assets including high-value watches, paintings and two luxury cars.

The Met’s Modern Day Slavery Investigation Team carried out the “day of action” across Westminster on Wednesday serving the premises with brothel closure orders as part of a crackdown on organised crime.

Watches seized in police raids

High-roller cars and cash were seized as part of the investigation that police said revealed how “the proceeds of crime” have been used “to fund their luxurious lifestyles”.

Detective Inspector Grant Anderson, of the investigation team, said: “I am delighted that the many months of hard work spent putting this investigation together has resulted in the arrests of six people and, more importantly, that we’ve been able to recover and support vulnerable victims.”

The victims have been taken in by the Salvation Army.

Artwork by Andy Warhol was also seized by police

Director of anti-trafficking and modern slavery for The Salvation Army, Major Kathy Betteridge, said: “All victims have been offered protective care and specialist support through a government contract operated by The Salvation Army.

“We are helping these vulnerable people as they not only begin to live independently but also supporting them to do this within government guidelines, to protect them from infection.”

Detective Superintendent Tara McGovern, of the Modern Day Slavery Investigation Team, added: “We are committed to protecting the vulnerable and bringing those responsible for exploiting others to justice.

“I hope this investigation continues to raise the public’s awareness of this shocking crime and sends a clear message.”

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