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5 people have been arrested after an investigation into 2 suspected brothels in Newcastle and Sunderland.
It's thought they were using foreign women as prostitutes.
At 11.20am, officers from the UK Border Agency simultaneously raided the Chinese Medical Centre, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, and an address in Foyle Street, Sunderland.
Two men and three women, all of Chinese origin, were arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking offences. The suspects were taken to police stations in Newcastle and Sunderland where they are currently being questioned.
Two women believed to be of Chinese origin who were found at the premises in Newcastle are being treated as victims and have not been arrested. They will be given support by the team and the relevant partner agencies.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said "Raids like this show the UK Border Agency plays an important role in tackling criminal gangs who exploit people for financial gain. We have a strong record of supporting victims and through tough enforcement are stopping the UK becoming a safe haven for human traffickers who trade on misery. The new trafficking strategy will be published shortly which, supported by the creation of the new National Crime Agency, will further improve our capability to stop the organised gangs behind this crime."
Andy Radcliffe, who led the Agency's Criminal and Financial Investigations team behind the raid, said "Today's operation follows an extensive investigation into the suspected trafficking of foreign nationals into the UK sex trade."
Anyone with information about immigration crime should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org.