A couple of Indian ethnicity was named by London Metropolitan Police, Arvindran Balakrishnan 73 and wife Chanda 67 . They are believed a breakaway of a small communist group.
Skynews breaking story:
Couple Arrested Over Slave Claim ‘Named’
4:08pm UK, Monday 25 November 2013
The couple suspected of holding three women in London for more than 30 years have been named as Aravindan and Chanda Balakrishnan.
A senior council source confirmed the pair were arrested last week by police amid allegations they held the women for decades and inflicted “physical and mental abuse”.
The couple, aged 73 and 67, are believed to have been well-known to the police in the 1970s after setting up a communist squat, the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre, in Acre Lane, Brixton in 1976.
Balakrishnan, who was known as Comrade Bala, was a former member of the national executive committee of the Communist party of England (Marxist-Leninist) but documents show he was suspended from the party in 1974 for pursuing “conspiratorial and splittist activities”.
Documents also show how in 1978 police raided the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre arresting 14 members of the organisation, including Aravindan Balakrishnan and wife Chanda, referred to as Comrade Chanda.
A source at Lambeth Council said the couple were believed to have been in the property for around 10 years after moving there from a council property, and concerns had previously been raised with police about the education of the youngest woman.
Scotland Yard would not comment on the claims, but previously said two of the victims met the male suspect through a “shared political ideology”, living with him at an address that was effectively called a “collective”.
The alleged victims – a 30-year-old Briton, a 57-year-old Irishwoman and a 69-year-old Malaysian – are now in the care of a specialist non-governmental organisation.
Speaking earlier, Metropolitan Police commander Steve Rodhouse said: “We believe that two of the victims met the male suspect in London through a shared political ideology, and that they lived together at an address that you could effectively call a ‘collective’.
“The people involved, the nature of that collective and how it operated is all subject to our investigation and we are slowly and painstakingly piecing together more information. I will not give any further information about it.
“Somehow that collective came to an end and the women ended up continuing to live with the suspects.
“How this resulted in the women living in this way for over 30 years is what we are seeking to establish, but we believe emotional and physical abuse has been a feature of all the victims’ lives.”
The case came to light after the Irishwoman rang the Freedom Charity last month to say she had been held against her will.
Scotland Yard said that part of the agreement on October 25 when the women were removed from the address was that police would not take any action at that stage.
One of the three women held is a Malaysian. Wisma Putra has yet to ascertain more details on the matter.
Published: Saturday November 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday November 23, 2013 MYT 6:57:53 AM
More info sought on rescued Malaysian kept as slave in London
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Government is liaising with British authorities on the rescue of a 69-year-old Malaysian woman who was kept as a slave with two others for 30 years in London’s Lambeth district.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Wisma Putra was seeking details.
“We don’t have many details now. We will disclose more information as we get it,” he said when contacted yesterday.
The Malaysian High Commission in London has also offered to help British police in its investigations.
An official said the high commission had contacted Freedom Charity and British police.
“We are still waiting and ready to extend any help required,” he added in a telephone interview.
The official said the high commission had only found out about the matter via press reports.
“We have yet to meet or speak to the woman,’’ he said, adding that there was no information on where she was being kept.
Details regarding the case continue to be sparse, with British police being tightlipped on the rescue of the three women.
The Malaysian woman, who has not been identified, was rescued along with a 30-year-old British woman and 57-year-old Irish woman on Oct 25.
The rescued women are all “highly traumatised” and are currently being looked after in a safe location. The address of the house where the crime took place is still unknown.
The Metropolitan Police arrested their two alleged captors on Thursday morning in connection with an investigation.
The two, both aged 67, have been granted bail until a date in January. According to a statement from the police, they are “not British nationals”.
The three were freed after one of the captives called Freedom Charity, an NGO, on Oct 18.
According to British news reports, Aneeta Prem, founder of the Freedom Charity, met the three women on Thursday.
At a press conference yesterday evening, Metropolitan Police revealed that the three women had been beaten.
According to British media reports, the victims were physically abused and emotionally controlled in the “complicated and disturbing” slavery case.
The police were quoted as saying that they were looking for “invisible handcuffs used to manipulate the three women.”
The police also said that there was no evidence that the victims had been trafficked.
The two suspects were also charged with immigration-related offences, and were arrested in the 1970s for unspecified reasons.
Police spent 12 hours searching the property and removed 55 bags of evidence and 2,500 exhibits.