Six women and three men have been arrested in connection to a human trafficking operation that groomed vulnerable Bulgarian women and placed them in UK brothels.

Police made four raids in the UK, including one in Wood Green and one in Tottenham.

At an address in Wood Green, one woman was found who is now receiving support from specialist officers.  

The arrests this morning (April 26) come after Europol and the Met, along with Bulgarian authorities, tracked down an organised criminal network believed to be responsible for trafficking women into the UK.

Properties in Wood Green, Tottenham, Cheshunt and Milton Keynes were searched, and police also made a further six raids in Bulgaria.

Assets seized included cash, high-value vehicles and property worth around £1 million.

Six arrests were made in the UK and a further three in Bulgaria. All nine members of the alleged network were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery, controlling prostitution, drugs supply and money laundering offences.

Detective Inspector Jim Madden from the Met’s Central Specialist Crime’s Modern Slavery Unit said: “Today we have significantly disrupted this organised criminal network.

“Members of this network are suspected of grooming and trafficking vulnerable Bulgarian women into the UK.

“These women were placed into brothels and forced into prostitution through fear of violence.

“Unfortunately, this type of exploitation is still happening across London and the UK.

“The Met’s Modern Slavery Unit works around the clock to identify people involved in human trafficking and forced labour, and we play a role in protecting and supporting hundreds of victims each year.”

He added: “We need help from the public as they have an important role to play in recognising and reporting modern slavery. If you suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, report it. You will always be taken seriously and protection and support is available."

If you suspect that you, or someone you have come into contact with, may be a victim of modern slavery or trafficking and require support, please call The Salvation Army’s 24 hour confidential referral helpline on 0800 808 3733. 

You can also report a suspicion or seek advice through the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700.