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Seven Cork properties searched and 20 people interviewed in major crackdown on suspected human trafficking

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A MAJOR crackdown on suspected human trafficking has resulted in several Cork properties being searched and more than 20 people interviewed.

Three men who are believed to have been the victims of human trafficking into Ireland were removed from the properties.

All three are now receiving special assistance and support.

The operation was launched in north Cork by uniformed officers supported by armed gardaí and the garda dog unit.

Raids were ordered on Sunday at two premises identified in the Charleville and Mallow areas.

The properties were identified on foot on surveillance and intelligence operations.

Gardaí believed that a number of individuals had been trafficked into Ireland and were being exploited through their use in intense manual labour employment without either proper pay or living conditions.

Both properties were searched on foot of warrants and a total of 24 adults found present on both premises were interviewed.

It was at this stage that three males - aged in their 20s and believed to have been the victims of human trafficking - were identified and removed for special assistance.

Gardaí are now liaising with international police agencies to confirm the identities and nationalities of the men involved.

Once they are identified, support will be sought from their home embassies.

All three will be provided with whatever medical and support services they now require.

Gardaí stressed that the operation remains ongoing and further raids may be carried out.

No arrests have so far taken place.

It is expected that a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

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