Northern Ireland news

Numbers of trafficked women rescued by PSNI on the increase

'Anna' is played in the drama 'Doing Money' by Romanian actress Anca Dumitra

The PSNI say they have rescued 36 victims of sex trafficking in Northern Ireland in the first six months of this year.

The figures mark an increase in the number of victims rescued by the specialist police unit, working with the National Crime Agency.

The number of women rescued in just the first six months of 2018 is equal to the entire 12 months of last year.

Mainly from Eastern Europe or Asia, the women have been transported against their will before eventually finding themselves working in brothels in Northern Ireland.

The figures were released prior to the screening of a hard hitting BBC drama telling the story of 'Anna' who was trafficked and forced to work as a sex slave in Belfast.

Filmed mainly in Belfast, Doing Money, shown on BBC 2 last night, is based on the story of the Romanian national who was kidnapped and forced to work in several brothels in Ireland.

Her mobile phone and passport were taken and she was told her mother in Romania would be killed if she tried to escape.

The gang kept her and other women in 'pop-up' brothels, often in residential areas and in seemingly ordinary houses and apartments.

While being held in Belfast, she managed to escape her captors who were later jailed for a string of offences.

She later gave evidence to politicians at Stormont that led to a Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act being passed in Northern Ireland in 2015.

Doing Money is currently available on the BBC iPlayer.

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