Police target sex traffickers

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The Independent Online

More than 50 people have been arrested in a police swoop on the illegal sex trade. The operation targeted two massage parlours in the north of England, leading to the arrest of 47 women and 11 men.

More than 50 people have been arrested in a police swoop on the illegal sex trade. The operation targeted two massage parlours in the north of England, leading to the arrest of 47 women and 11 men.

The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, said yesterday that the raids were part of a concerted effort to thwart gangmasters who smuggle immigrants into the UK to work in the illegal sex trade.

As many as 250 police officers from the South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire forces, plus 80 staff from the immigration service, swooped on the sex parlours on Friday night. Nine addresses were raided in the operation, which lasted more than four hours.

Mr Blunkett promised that the gangmasters behind immigration crime would be ruthlessly targeted. He said: "This operation shows the determination of the police and other agencies to put these people out of business and behind bars."

Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Rennison, from West Yorkshire police, said: "Although this investigation has been led by South Yorkshire police it has looked at other areas. Last night's operation is just the start."