A CONVICTED murderer arrested at a house in Blackburn on suspicion of human trafficking has been deported.

The 26-year-old man, along with a 21-year-old woman, were removed from the UK to their native Romania for their role in a suspected prostitution gang, police said.


The investigation dated back to February 22 when police officers stopped a Seat Ibiza in Great Harwood, in which they found the pair with a second Romanian woman.

The man was being paid £50 a day by the 21-year-old to drive both women around.

Police said he was initially reported for driving offences before officers raided the house he was renting in Azalea Road, Blackburn on February 24 and arrested him on suspicion of human trafficking offences.

The 21-year-old and the Romanian woman, as well a third Romanian woman, were found at the property and taken to Blackburn Police Station for their own safety.

During the investigation it was established the 21-year-old woman was involved in trafficking one of the women found in the house and she was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, police said.

Community leaders praised the police over the deportations and said the whole situation was ‘shocking’.

A police spokesman said despite the best efforts of officers, both victims found at the property refused to provide statements to confirm they had been trafficked.

Both women have since returned to Romania voluntarily.

Det Sgt Tony Atkins, of Lancashire Police, said: “Foreign conviction checks revealed the male had a previous conviction in Romania for murder.

“Our human trafficking team worked with immigration officers to secure a warrant to deport him, which happened on April 14.

“The female, who was breaching her European Treaty Rights, was served papers and left the country in early April.

“This intervention resulted in the safeguarding of the two females, who, although not making complaints as victims, clearly were, but could not see it.”

Cllr Abdul Rehman, who represents the Corporation Park ward, said: “The whole thing sounds shocking.

“I am glad the police have taken this action and these people have been deported.

“This kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable in this or any community, and I am glad they are no longer in this country.”

Blackburn with Darwen Mayor, Cllr Hussain Akhtar, said: “I am very pleased. We don’t want anybody in Blackburn who does this kind of thing and I am glad they have been deported.

“Anyone who abuses the system in this way is completely out of order.

“I am glad the police took this matter seriously.”