Three held after raids on London 'brothels'

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Police in London have arrested three people on suspicion of conspiracy to control and cause prostitution.

Two men, aged 34 and 35, were arrested alongside a 26-year-old woman at around 22:30 BST yesterday at an address in Victoria.

They were also arrested on suspicion of trafficking women within the UK and money laundering.

Other premises in South Kensington were also raided as part of the operation and eight women were recovered from these addresses.

Police say both the Victoria and South Kensington premises are believed to have been operating as brothels.

Carried out by the clubs and vice unit, part of the Metropolitan Police's central operations, Operation Lirio involved four months of police surveillance before last night's raids.

Officers also report that they took the unusual step of seizing numerous cars under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, some of which were thought to have been used to "deliver" women.

"This operation is just one of the many that officers from my unit carry out to tackle those who control and those who traffic and coerce vulnerable women in to the world of prostitution," Detective Superintendent David Eyles from the Met's clubs and vice unit said.

He added: "I hope that this operation sends a loud and clear message to anybody involved in this dreadful trade. I also hope it shows them that we will not only arrest perpetrators but will take away from them their trappings of wealth and ensure that they are stripped of their assets."

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