Six people arrested as part of a police investigation into an alleged child sex abuse ring in Blackpool have been released without charge.
Four men and two women were told by detectives they would face no charges when the reported to a police station last week.
They had spent the last six months on bail as police continued what they described as a ‘protracted and complex’ inquiry.
It follows serious allegations of repeated abuse, including rape, in the resort between 2010 and 2013.
The two girls at the centre of the investigation, aged seven and 10, have been taken into care, police said.
Most of the arrests in the low-key investigation took place in July but it only came to light when one of the suspects, who will not face charges, applied to vary the terms of their bail.
However, The Gazette understands the investigation continues and police have not ruled out further arrests.
The Gazette reported in September that an international manhunt was underway to trace another suspect who was thought to have fled the country.
Police have not disclosed details of any outstanding suspects. A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “The six people arrested have all been released no further action.”
A 52-year-old man and two women, both 31, all from Blackpool, were arrested on suspicion on engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child. One of the women was also suspected of causing a child to watch an image of sexual activity.
A 37-year-old man from Blackpool was arrested on suspicion of inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity.
A 39-year-old man from Blackpool was arrested on suspicion of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity and rape of a girl under 13.
A 40-year-old man from Rotherham was arrested in his home town by local officers on behalf of Lancashire Police.
All have been released without charge.