Alleged slave masters ran Maoist collective
The two suspects in the south London slavery case ran a Communist collective in the 1970s that worshipped the Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
The husband and wife, who are from India and Tanzania originally, were arrested last week on suspicion of holding three women against their will for more than 30 years.
It is alleged they subjected them to beatings and emotional abuse and the three were only allowed to leave their flat in controlled circumstances.
The pair, both 69, arrived in Britain in the 1960s and were associated with a number of political groups known to the police and security services.
It has now been learnt that the couple were well-known to the police, having set up a notorious Communist squat in 1974 and have both served prison sentences associated with their political activities.
Based in Brixton, south London, the couple set about recruiting women from other far-Left groups, encouraging them to engage in "revolutionary work".
It has emerged that one of the women allegedly held by the couple wrote love letters to a neighbour describing how evil monsters had her trapped like a fly in a spider's web.
The 30-year-old woman, called Rose, said she was in poor health and suffered "unspeakable torment" at the hands of her captors.
She wrote: "They imprisoned me here, locking all the doors and windows. I can't get out on my own, the place is crawling with them."
The woman, who police said had virtually no normal contact with the outside world, sent the neat handwritten letter to her upstairs neighbour, Marius Feneck.
Mr Feneck said the girl appeared to be infatuated with him and sent him scores of letters after forming the impression that they were in some sort of relationship. (© Daily Telegraph, London)
By Martin Evans and Sam Marsden