Two men charged in connection with sex trafficking investigation in Lancashire
Two men have been charged in connection with a sex trafficking investigation in Lancashire.
Four people were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking after police raided addresses in Blackburn and Preston on Wednesday (August 25).
Two men have now been charged following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service
Andrei Vitan, 23, of Andrew Street, Preston has been charged with human trafficking and controlling prostitution.
Nicolae Constantin, 23, of Palatine Road, Blackburn, has been charged with human trafficking, controlling prostitution and indecent exposure.
They were both due to appear before Blackburn Magistrates' Court this morning (Friday, August 27)
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "Earlier this year the constabulary's East Exploitation Team began Operation Elco looking into the activities of a trafficking ring operating in Blackburn and Preston.
"The investigation began to show the group were operating and controlling the prostitution of women across different parts of the county and more widely.
"Prostitution services and brothels were uncovered in Blackpool, Warrington, Norfolk and Leicester that were being controlled by the group."
Two other men from Blackburn, aged 37 and 38, have been released under investigation.
To pass on information anonymously you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.
If you think that someone is in immediate danger, call 999.
Police said if you suspect slavery is happening and there is no immediate threat to life, call 101.
For more information, visit the Lancashire Police website by clicking HERE.
"Lancashire Constabulary is committed to investigating human trafficking and modern slavery and taking robust action against those willing to exploit others for financial gain," a spokesman added.
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