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trafficking jammed Two men arrested in Belfast after joint human trafficking operation between PSNI and Romanian police

A quantity of cash and jewellery was seized in Romania by authorities there


Some of the cash and jewellery seized by Romanian police as part of the operation

Some of the cash and jewellery seized by Romanian police as part of the operation

Some of the cash and jewellery seized by Romanian police as part of the operation

Two men have been arrested in Northern Ireland as part of joint operation with Romanian police into people trafficking.

Police in Romania also seized a substantial amount of money and jewellery during searches.

The PSNI searched two properties in Belfast earlier today as part of the joint operation, arresting two men, aged 29 and 34, on suspicion of a number of offences.

The police said the operation was set up in order to “disrupt and dismantle” Romanian organised crime gangs working in Northern Ireland and Romania.

Detective Inspector Gina Quinn from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit said: “The Organised Crime Group targeted today is believed to be responsible for recruiting and trafficking people from Romania into Northern Ireland for prostitution and money laundering.”

She added: “This operation, which also included two officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland assisting police in Romania, has been made possible through a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) agreement between the UK and Romania. Eurojust, the EU agency set up to promote coordination between member states in relation to serious and organised crime, has partly funded the operation. The operation was assisted and supported by Europol and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland and the Service for Countering Organised Crime (SCCO) Romania.

“Working with law enforcement colleagues we believe we may have halted the activities of an organised crime gang involved in controlling prostitution, human trafficking and money laundering in Northern Ireland and Romania.

“Crime groups choose to exploit some of the most vulnerable people within our societies, preying on their vulnerabilities and exploiting them for their own ends.

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland is determined to try and eradicate all harm caused to our communities and that is why our involvement in this joint operation is a priority.

“We are committed to protecting victims and targeting those who exploit or cause harm. We are working as hard as we can but we cannot tackle this problem alone. We rely on our strong working relationships with a range of partners but we need the public’s help. I would also ask people to contact us with any concerns that they may have by calling us on the non-emergency number 101, or submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/.

“You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/ There’s also a Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.”

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