Abuse victims 'trafficked abroad'

Seventies paedophile ring in Barnes extended to Amsterdam, say two men who claim they were abused in brothels

Two alleged victims of a sophisticated paedophile ring at the centre of a police investigation claim they were taken on trips to Amsterdam where they were sexually abused in brothels in the 1980s.

One male victim had been taken from the Grafton Close care home in Richmond, south-west London, it is claimed, and, as well as being trafficked in Amsterdam, was rented out to customers at the Elm Guest House, a bed and breakfast nearby. Another man has claimed he was taken to Amsterdam on a different trip.

Police are understood to be looking into the men's claims as part of Operation Fernbridge, an investigation into historic child abuse set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal. Detectives are building a picture of the reach of the network – which allegedly used the property – and have seized a number of files from local authorities.

The Elm Guest House in Rocks Lane, Barnes, said to have been frequented in the Seventies and Eighties by prominent peoples including former Tory politicians, is at the centre of the investigation.

An Independent on Sunday investigation last week revealed the disgraced former MP Cyril Smith was a frequent visitor to the property, and it is understood detectives have also looked at the role of Carole Kasir, the guest house manager who died in suspicious circumstances.

To some, German-born Kasir's liberal-minded attitudes prompted her, in the mid-1970s, to offer a meeting place for gay men embarrassed by their sexual orientation just a decade after it was made legal. To others it was the starting place that ultimately led her to accumulate substantial sums of money by letting rooms where child porn videos were shot and exploitative men could abuse underage boys brought in from a local care homes.

Kasir – who ran the guest house with her husband Haroon Kasir, died on 17 June 1990, aged 47, eight years after a specialist police team raided the guest house, which has since been turned into flats.

At the inquest into her death, the court heard Kasir, a diabetic, was found by a friend about 11am with "numerous injections and phials of insulin" next to her body, but that did little to stem a series of outlandish allegations. The inquest was shown suicide notes allegedly written by Kasir to her lover, but three witnesses – two child protection workers and a private detective – queried the provenance of the notes, telling the court Kasir feared for her life because of what she knew. She had been receiving threatening phone calls, was being harassed by police and told them she was being followed by an unmarked car, they said.

After adjourning the case several times, the coroner ruled she had "taken her own life" and that she died from hypoglycaemia caused by an insulin overdose. Friends claimed there were questions that were not adequatelyanswered, such as why Kasir was injected several times in the bottom, when she always took her injections in the arm. One witness at the inquest said he was shown photos of illustrious public figures in compromising poses, an allegation recently backed up by another witness.

Those friendly with Kasir said that, in the months before her death, she spoke about lifting the lid on the guest house, including listing those who visited, in a book.

In October last year, the Labour MP Tom Watson alleged in the Commons that there was evidence of child abuse in senior Tory circles. During the current investigation, Downing Street has been anxious to keep abreast of developments, but police have sought to maintain strict confidentiality. They are now pursuing a number of leads resulting from witness statements and documents seized after detectives raided the home of a former child protection worker last month. Anyone with information should contact Operation Fernbridge on 020 7161 0500.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee