UK 'slave' ordeal suspects of Indian, Tanzanian origin

UK 'slave' ordeal suspects of Indian, Tanzanian origin
Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland addresses the media outside New Scotland Yard in London on November 21, 2013, during a press meet concerning the rescue of three women believed to have been held as slaves for 30 years in a South London house.

LONDON - Police on Saturday said a man and woman alleged to have held captive three women in a London house for 30 years are of Indian and Tanzanian origin.

Two of the victims caught up in Britain's worst known case of supposed modern-day slavery are thought to have met the male suspect through a shared "ideology", they added in a statement.

"The suspects are of Indian and Tanzanian origin that came to the UK in the 1960s," police commander Steve Rodhouse said.

"We believe that two of the victims met the male suspect in London through a shared political ideology, and that they lived together at an address that you could effectively call a 'collective'."

He added: "Somehow that collective came to an end and... the women ended up continuing to live with the suspects."

Rodhouse said police were carrying out house-to-house enquiries on Saturday, seeking information from local residents surrounding the case.

Police first disclosed on Thursday that the three women had been rescued, with one of them having spent her entire life in servitude.

A man and a woman, both aged 67, were arrested at their home on Thursday as part of an investigation into slavery.

The victims are a 69-year-old Malaysian, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 30-year-old Briton who were released after one of them called a charity.

"The people involved, the nature of that collective and how it operated is all subject to our investigation and we are slowly and painstakingly piecing together more information," Rodhouse said Saturday.

"The 30-year-old woman does have a birth certificate; however that is all the official documentation we can find. We believe she has lived with the suspects and the other victims all her life, but of course at this early stage we are still seeking out evidence," he added.

Police on Friday said the victims had been beaten and brainwashed.

The suspects have been provisionally released until January pending further investigations.

The victims were rescued on October 25, one week after first making secret telephone contact with Freedom Charity, which normally deals with forced marriage and honour-based abuse.

Aneeta Prem, the charity's founder, said Saturday that it had received "an extraordinary rise in calls" to its helpline since the story was made public.

"We received five times as many calls in 24 hours as we normally do in one week and are needing to increase our resources to cope with this extra demand," she said in a statement.

Prem added that the three victims must be allowed "to go through their rehabilitation undisturbed, without being identified".

Following telephone contact, the British and Irish female victims agreed to meet charity workers and police outside the house, before taking them back to the property to rescue the Malaysian.

"Part of the agreement on 25 October when they were removed from the suspects' address was that police would not at that stage take any action," Rodhouse said Saturday.

"Since that date we have been working to gain their trust and evidence, that

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