SEVEN men and a woman have been charged after a nationwide crackdown on human trafficking and suspected prostitution.
The eight people were arrested after dawn raids were carried out out across Lancashire, Gateshead and Evesham in relation to a nine-month probe into an organised 'Romanian crime group' centred on Blackburn.
Ionut Dogaru, 28, of Whitebirk Road, Blackburn and Claudiu-Nicusor Vlaescu, 31, of Whitebirk Road, Blackburn will appear before Blackburn Magistrates Court today.
They are charged with conspiring to traffic for sexual exploitation and conspiring to incite prostitution for gain.
They will appear alongside Razvan Mitru, 30, of Arkwright Road, Preston; ; Alexandru Baltoiu, 24, of St Margaret’s Road, Evesham; Marius Trasca, 29, of Watt Street, Gateshead; Marian Diaconu, 25, of Arborfield Close, Slough; Andra Amzulin, 27, of Station Road, Blackpool; and Traian Gvarila, 31, of Victoria Place, Preston.
The charges follow a long running proactive investigation led by Lancashire Constabulary’s human trafficking and modern slavery team Op Proteus, a dedicated team working to identify both the victims and perpetrators of trafficking and slavery across Lancashire.
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To pass on information anonymously about human trafficking you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or complete an anonymous form online www.crimestoppers-uk.org .