Two arrests linked to suspected brothels in Cheltenham
A man and a woman have been arrested today as part of a wide scale Gloucestershire Police investigation into alleged human trafficking offences in Cheltenham.
Two suspected brothels at flats in Pittville Lawn and Suffolk Road and a property in Witcombe Place were raided by officers while the Metropolitan Police carried out searches at addresses in King’s Cross, Tottenham and Dagenham.
The coordinated action follows an intelligence led investigation into suspected human trafficking and the management of brothels operating in Cheltenham.
Full searches of the suspected brothels, which are believed to be linked, have been carried out and inquiries are continuing.
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Two women of Southeast Asian origin believed to be involved in prostitution were rescued from the properties.
Hundreds of pounds in cash and other items have been seized from the Witcombe Place address.
A 41-year-old woman was arrested in Cheltenham on suspicion of human trafficking, management of a brothel and money laundering in connection with the case and a 40-year-old man was arrested in London on suspicion of money laundering.
They remain in police custody at this time.
Detective Inspector Sue Bradshaw said: “Gloucestershire Police has a proven track record in tackling human trafficking and the running of brothels and we are very pleased with the results from today.
“The victims of human trafficking have often been subject to coercion and deception. Those who run these criminal operations on the other hand can make huge profits from their exploitation.
“The women who have been rescued today are now getting the support they need.
“I would also like to reassure the community that Cheltenham does not have the human trafficking issues we were dealing with during Operation Pentameter and that these cases are isolated.
“I would urge anyone with information on these matters, or any victims of human trafficking to come forward and make contact with police.”