Latvian women freed in police raid

  • 2010-10-27
  • TBT Staff

The women were being held against their will in a flat in Dublin as part of a human trafficking scam. (photo: Crispin Purdye)

DUBLIN - Two Latvian women who were being held captive in the Irish capital of Dublin have been freed following a joint operation involving police from the two countries.

The two women, aged 19 and 25 years, had been locked in an apartment in Dublin's Palmerstown district. Using SMS messages from hidden mobile phones the women alerted friends in Latvia to their situation. Police in Latvia then contacted their Irish counterparts.

The chief suspect, a 23 year-old from India, was arrested at the flat as well as a 32-year-old Pakistani man.

The operation comes amid increased scrutiny over human trafficking. Hundreds of women have been brought from Latvia to the UK to participate in sham marriages to foreign men who are looking for easy acess to the EU.

The women were allegedly lured into the country with promises of work. When they found out about the sham marriage and refused to go along with the plan they were locked in a bedroom in the flat.

Ireland's Garda National Immigration Bureau will meet their Latvian counterparts early next month in an effort to step up cooperation on fighting the practice.