Gardaí eye further arrests for alleged trafficking ring

Gardaí have refused to rule out further arrests in connection with an alleged human trafficking ring in Co Donegal.

It comes as a man in his 40s was released from Garda custody in Letterkenny yesterday.

The man was arrested during armed Garda raids on properties in Letterkenny on Tuesday afternoon.

The man, understood to be a Romanian national, was released without charge. A file on the case is being prepared for the DPP.

Documents, computers, and mobile phones were seized at several addresses in the same apartment complex in connection with the probe.

Garda Inspector Pat O’Donnell has refused to rule out further arrests as part of the investigation.

He said: “The person has been released and a file on the matter will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine what course the investigation will take.

“We are not ruling out further arrests, however.”

The investigation began on August 30 and involved allegations that young men were trafficked to Donegal to work in cash businesses there.

Gardaí at Letterkenny carried out an operation during which five men were safely removed from a business premises on Pearse Rd.

A sixth man was located elsewhere in Letterkenny Town on the same date during the operation. All six, aged from 21 to 45, were relocated to safe and secure accommodation.

The men were understood to be living on just €5 a day and were owed months of backpay.

They all had poor English and it is understood their passports were being held by the ringleaders.

The investigation is being led by gardaí at Letterkenny, assisted by The Garda Human Trafficking Investigation and Co-ordination Unit, Romanian Authorities, the Department of Justice and other government agencies. The extensive probe is continuing.

Meanwhile, the Immigrant Council of Ireland said that the Garda crackdown on suspected human trafficking in Donegal has highlighted the urgent need for the Government to implement its national action plan against these crimes in full.

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