24 Nov 2013

More details issued in UK slavery case

9:16 am on 24 November 2013

Police in Britain have given more details of a couple suspected of holding three women captive for 30 years. They are of Indian and Tanzanian origin and came to Britain in the 1960s.

Police first disclosed on Thursday that the three women had been rescued, one of whom had spent her entire life in servitude.

One is Malaysian, aged 69; another Irish, 57, and the third is British, aged 30.

On Friday, police said they had been beaten and brainwashed.

The ABC reports they were rescued in South London on 25 October, a week after one of them called a charity for help.

A man and a woman, both aged 67, were arrested on Thursday as part of an investigation into slavery.

"We believe that two of the (women) met the male suspect in London through a shared political ideology, and that they lived together at an address that you could effectively call a collective," said Commander Steve Rodhouse.

"Somehow that collective came to an end and (somehow) the women ended up continuing to live with the suspects."


Earlier, Frank Field MP said the case was just the "tip of a rather large iceberg".

"We've had this example of domestic slavery but people are being imported to work, almost for nothing, in industry," he told BBC Breakfast.

"We've got begging gangs being developed, with people being imported. And of course we've got the whole question of how children are being imported to work."

A Modern Slavery Bill is due to published in the coming weeks. The BBC reports it is designed to increase the penalty of those convicted to life imprisonment and create an anti-slavery commissioner.