Two people have been arrested for conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation (FGM), according to reports.
A 72-year-old man was stopped by police while going through customs at Heathrow after he arrived in Britain accompanied by an 11-year-old girl from Uganda’s capital Kampala early on Friday morning.
A 40-year-old woman was arrested in Hackney under Section 2 of the FGM Act 2003.
Police told the press that the two arrests were connected.
In a statement they said: “Officers acted upon information given and a 40-year-old woman was arrested in Hackney under Section 2 of the FGM Act 2003, namely aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring a girl to carry out FGM on herself.”
Both suspects have been taken to east London police stations, where they remain in custody.
FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985, and since 2003 those found guilty of taking a female child out of the country to be circumcised can face anywhere up to 14 years in prison.
No one has been convicted of FGM; however, in March the Crown Prosecution Service launched its first effort to get convictions for FGM, when a doctor and person thought to be encouraging the practice were arrested in November 2013.
They are due to stand trial in January 2015.