Specialist officers have arrested a man on suspicion of rape following evening raids in Camden, Holborn and Hanwell

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At around  8pm on Wednesday, 13 January detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command conducted three search warrants simultaneously at residential properties after receiving information about an escort business.

Vulnerable females from across London, who have a number of complex personal and financial issues, were lured into working for the online business as a chance to earn money. However, as part of the recruitment process to get work through the business they were required to have sexual intercourse with the owner.

The victims are aged between 17 and 26, many of whom are students or have travelled from overseas.

A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of eight allegations of rape, controlling prostitution and fraud. A further two men, aged 28 and 46, were arrested on suspicion of trafficking and money laundering.

All three men remain in police custody.

Detective Inspector Mark Rogers, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Our pursuit of criminals targeting vulnerable victims has remained undiminished throughout the pandemic.

“Protecting the vulnerable and bringing those responsible for exploiting others to justice is a key priority for the Met. Through exploitation of vulnerable people, criminal networks can generate revenue for other organised criminality and they need to be stopped.”

Enquiries into the circumstances continue.