Freedom help victims held for 30 years in South London to escape a life of servitude

Officers from the Met’s Human Trafficking Unit arrested two people in their 60’s at their home in South London this morning (Thursday 21 November) as part of an investigation into slavery and domestic servitude.

The two suspects, a 67 year old man and a 67 year old woman were taken to a South London police station where they remain in custody.

Aneeta Prem, spokesperson for Freedom Charity, said:

“Freedom charity, hearing about the situation of the women, took immediate action in planning their safe rescue. Facilitating their escape was achieved using utmost sensitivity and secrecy and with the safety of the women as our primary concern.”

I would like to praise the outstanding work of the Freedom charity team and partners for getting the women to a place of safety.”

Police were contacted in October by Freedom Charity after they had received a call from a woman stating she had been held against her will in a house in London for more than 30 years.

Further enquiries by police revealed the location of the house and with the help of sensitive negotiations conducted by the charity, the three women, a 69 year old Malaysian woman, a 57 year old Irish woman and a 30 year old British woman were all rescued.All three women, who were highly traumatised, were taken to a place of safety where they remain.

DI Kevin Hyland from the Met’s Human Trafficking Unit said, “We applaud the actions of Freedom Charity and are working in partnership to support these victims who appear to have been held for over 30 years.  We have launched an extensive investigation to establish the facts surrounding these very serious allegations.”

He continued, “A television documentary on forced marriages relating to the work of Freedom Charity was the catalyst that prompted one of the victims to call for help and led to their rescue.”