Britain arrests 500 people for sex trafficking

July 3rd, 2008 - 12:42 am ICT by IANS  

London, July 2 (DPA) British police have arrested over 500 people in a nationwide crackdown on human trafficking in a six-month operation targeted at the sex trade in women and children, the Home Office said Wednesday. The police said 167 victims, including 12 children, had been rescued in the crackdown involving 55 police forces in England, Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The total number of arrests was given as 528.

The operation targeted the sale of women and children for prostitution and forced labour, the Home Office said.

The majority of the victims rescued originated from China, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, 13 were children, the youngest aged 14.

“Human trafficking is a despicable crime, perpetrated by organised criminal gangs whose business is to make money from human misery,” Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said.

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