Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting ENFIELD NEWS to 80360, or email us
Two men in Enfield arrested in sex trafficking investigation in Highview Gardens and Telford Road
Two men suspected of trafficking women into the UK and forcing them into prostitution have been arrested during early morning raids.
Officers stormed addresses in Highview Gardens, Telford Road and Asfield Parade in Southgate at 6am today following an investigation from their Trafficking and Prostitution Unit (TPU).
They arrested two Hungarian nationals on suspicion of trafficking for sexual exploitation – a 32-year-old man in Highview Gardens and another man, whose age remains unknown, in Telford Road.
Police believe the properties uncovered in Telford Road and Ashfield Parade were operating as brothels.
The investigation, which also saw early-morning raids in Barnet, Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Camden, and Bedfordshire, indicates hundreds of women have been trafficked into the UK by a criminal network.
It is believed the women – many of which are from Hungary – were told they would be given jobs as receptionists, but were forced into prostitution.
Suspected victims were found at some of the addresses and taken to a specialist agency for support and guidance.
Officers also seized goods including computers, cash, travel documents and account registers.
A 33-year-old British national was arrested in Barnet and a 31-year-old Hungarian national was arrested in Mayes Road in Wood Green as part of this morning's dawn raids.
All men remain in a north west London police station.
Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland of the TPU said: "These arrests follow a six-month investigation.
“We believe that many women have been brought into the country having been told they will be given jobs, only to then be forced to work as prostitutes, with some being physically abused and raped in the process.
"Our main concern is for the victims. Today we have identified women we think have been sexually exploited, and they have all been offered care.
“The next stage will be to try to identify other victims, not just in the UK but those who have returned to Hungary, so they can be offered the same support."