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IrelandTwo women arrested in Westmeath following Gardaí human trafficking and money laundering investigation

18:05  14 april  2019
18:05  14 april  2019 Source:   extra.ie

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Two women arrested in Westmeath following Gardaí human trafficking and money laundering investigation © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Two women have been arrested by Gardaí in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

The arrests were in relation to a human trafficking, money laundering and prostitution investigation.

A spokesperson for the Gardaí confirmed the arrest happened on Sunday morning.

They said: ‘Gardaí at Mullingar Co Westmeath investigating human trafficking, money laundering and prostitution have arrested two females.

Two women arrested in Westmeath following Gardaí human trafficking and money laundering investigation © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

‘In a Garda operation this morning, Sunday April 14, 2019 two premises were searched in the Mullingar area.

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‘Two females were arrested (42 years and 29 years) in connection with this investigation and are currently detained at Mullingar Garda Station under the provisions of Section 50- Criminal Justice Act 2007.

‘Investigations are continuing.’

In 2018, a charity which works with people affected by sex trafficking and prostitution dealt with 304 cases in 2017.

Two women arrested in Westmeath following Gardaí human trafficking and money laundering investigation © Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland At the time, Ruhama called for more to be done to address the harms caused to people in the sex trade.

The charity’s annual report reveals it supported 304 women, transgender people and men in 2017, and 109 of these people were victims of sex trafficking from four continents.

The vast majority of those seeking support were women, reflecting the highly gendered nature of the sex trade.

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Sarah Benson, CEO of Ruhama, said the women they support face many challenging life circumstances and these vulnerabilities are compounded by levels of violence and exploitation experienced within the Irish sex trade that many would find hard to even imagine.

Two women arrested in Westmeath following Gardaí human trafficking and money laundering investigation © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Car Fire To 'Intimidate' Gardai

She said: ‘Women tell us of many incidences of physical violence, rape and sexual assault, which they have experienced at the hands of sex buyers, pimps, traffickers and opportunistic criminals alike. The long-term physical and psychological consequences of such attacks cannot be underestimated.

‘Yet every day we are struck by women’s capacity to overcome trauma, to assert their human rights, and to fight for justice.’

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