Two people arrested on suspicion of human trafficking in Northern Ireland following an investigation into suspected labour exploitation have been released on bail.
One man aged 42 and a 37-year-old woman were arrested in the Antrim Road area of North Belfast on Wednesday and were taken to Musgrave Street where they were questioned by police.
PSNI Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell said: “Today’s arrests are part of our contribution to the National Crime Agency’s latest phase of Operation Aidant, a two-week co-ordinated series of operational intensifications on modern slavery and human trafficking.
“Last week my officers arrested four people, three men aged 47, 49 and 53 years old, and a 50-year-old woman, in Belfast on suspicion of immigration offences. They have all now been deported.
“We are continually targeting the people involved in all types of human trafficking and are pleased to support the NCA in this two-week period of intensification focusing on adults who have been trafficked to the UK, or exploited in the UK, for the purposes of sexual exploitation.”
He added: “It can be hard to believe that this type of crime exists today as it remains quite hidden, but it does and it could be happening in any street and in any town in Northern Ireland.
“Victims are often afraid to speak out or unable to report their ordeal to police for a number of reasons including language barriers or simply because they are held captive.
“It’s for this reason we all need to work together to help victims and stop this unacceptable crime.
“It’s important for people to be aware of goings-on in their communities and keep a lookout for a number of tell-tale signs.
“These include people who can’t produce their passport or personal documents, who appear to be under the control of others or who have unexplained injuries, live in over-crowded accommodation or those who appear not to have any cash as they are not allowed to keep the money they earn.”