In a joint action by law enforcement officers from the UK and Romania, Europol and Eurojust, 17 suspects were arrested in the UK and one in Romania.

The suspects are alleged to have participated in modern slavery, controlling prostitution, committing drug and firearm offences, pimping and money laundering. They are aged between 17 and 50 years old and remain in police custody.

Sixteen searches were carried out in the UK and four in Romania, yielding cash, luxury cars and cocaine. The police recovered 29 potential victims of human trafficking, all women aged from 20-40 years, who have been taken to safety.

Two of the leaders of the group, detained in London, were also under investigation, on the basis of European Arrest Warrants for attempted murder.

Eurojust held coordination meetings and provided financial and logistic support for the joint investigation team, among the UK, Romania, Eurojust and Europol. Europol also held an operational meeting.