Scotland Yard rescues 3 women 'held as slaves' for 30 years

Published: 21 November, 2013 22:59 IST | PTI |

British police today rescued three women from a London home where they were believed held as slaves for at least 30 years by a couple who were arrested. Officials identified the victims as a 69-year-old Malaysian woman, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 30-year-old Briton.

Scotland Yard today rescued three "highly traumatised" women from a London home where they were being held as slaves for over 30 years by a couple who were arrested.

The victims have been identified as a Malaysian woman, 69, an Irish woman, 57, and a British woman, 30.

Police arrested two people in their 60s at their home in south London. The women, who are said to be "highly traumatised", are now in safe accommodation, the police said.

Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland addresses the media outside New Scotalnd Yard in London on Thursday during a press meet concerning the rescue of three women believed to have been held as slaves for 30 years in a South London house. Pic/AFP

The Metropolitan Police said Freedom charity, which aims to advise and support victims of forced marriages or honour- based violence, got in touch last month after it received a call from a woman saying she had been held against her will in a house in London for over 30 years.

The charity received the call following a television documentary on forced marriages.

"We applaud the actions of Freedom Charity and are working in partnership to support these victims who appear to have been held for over 30 years," Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland, from Scotland Yard's Human Trafficking, said.

"We have launched an extensive investigation to establish the facts surrounding these very serious allegations."

The two people arrested were considered the "heads of the family", and the women were said to be "absolutely terrified" of them.

Aneeta Prem, Freedom Charity founder, said the alleged victims have suffered physical and mental harm and were able to walk out of the property after extensive calls with the charity.

"It was planned that they would be able to walk out of the property. The police were on standby. They were able to leave the property, but it was done in such a was a very, very excellent way it happened," she told 'Sky News'. 

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