Three arrests in escort agency investigation following north London raids – Evening Standard
olice have arrested a man suspected of rape and two others on suspicion of trafficking and money laundering after raiding addresses in north and central London.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime Command raided properties in Camden, Holborn and Hanwell at 8pm on Wednesday after receiving information about an escort business.
Scotland Yard said vulnerable women from across the capital were lured into working for the online business as a chance to earn money.
The women have a number of complex personal and financial issues and are aged between 17 and 26. Many of them are students who have travelled from overseas, said the Met.
As part of the recruitment process to get work through the business, the women were required to have sexual intercourse with the owner.
A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of eight allegations of rape, controlling prostitution and fraud. A further two men, aged 28 and 46, were arrested on suspicion of trafficking and money laundering.
All three men remain in police custody.
Detective Inspector Mark Rogers, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Our pursuit of criminals targeting vulnerable victims has remained undiminished throughout the pandemic.
“Protecting the vulnerable and bringing those responsible for exploiting others to justice is a key priority for the Met. Through exploitation of vulnerable people, criminal networks can generate revenue for other organised criminality and they need to be stopped.”
An investigation into the circumstances of the escort business is ongoing.