Man faces domestic slavery charges in Belfast

A man has been charged with forcing a woman to perform compulsory labour.

The 33-year-old was arrested in Belfast on suspicion of holding the woman as a domestic slave in Belfast for more than six years.

It is the first time someone has been charged with such an offence in Northern Ireland.

The suspected victim escaped the property where she was allegedly being held around 16 months ago and alerted a member of the public, who contacted police.

An investigation has been running ever since and on Tuesday officers moved to arrest two suspects.

The man was detained in east Belfast. A search was also carried out at a property and a number of documents and mobile phones were seized.

A 25-year-old woman, who was arrested in Scotland on Tuesday, has been transported back to Northern Ireland for questioning.

The suspects are from African countries.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: “Detectives from PSNI’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit have charged a 33-year-old man with requiring another person to perform forced or compulsory labour.”

The man is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning.

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