Page last updated at 21:01 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 22:01 UK

Ex-officer charged on trafficking

human trafficking
A woman is led away after a raid on a house on the Lisburn Road in Belfast

A former police officer has been charged with two counts of people trafficking and two of controlling prostitution.

The 39-year-old was arrested on Thursday as part of a police operation targeting a prostitution ring controlled by a Chinese crime gang.

Six women were rescued from brothels in Belfast and Londonderry.

Two other people who were arrested - a 40-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man - are still being questioned.

It is believed the former officer, who was arrested in Belfast, left the PSNI a number of years ago.

Police said the women who were rescued were tricked into coming to Northern Ireland and then forced to work as prostitutes.

They are being cared for by specialist officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which hopes they will agree to give evidence against alleged gang members.

The Chinese Welfare Association has praised the police operation and urged anyone with information about human trafficking to come forward.

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