Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

Six held over child trafficking

Six people have been arrested over an alleged child trafficking ring after 15 youngsters were found by police during raids across Manchester.

Houses on Agnes Street, Gorton and Stockport Road, Longsight, were raided over a probe into children being moved from Romania by organised crime groups.

Two men and four women, aged 23 to 32, were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, said police.

Police believe the children were being forced to commit low level crimes.

The children, found at four houses, are now in the care of Manchester City Council social services.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "The trafficked children are at risk of being subject to cruelty by neglect and being forced to commit low-level crimes such as cash point distraction burglaries, pick pocketing and begging."

The raids also targeted a crackdown on organised crime groups "at the heart of this exploitation", added police.

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