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Victim Of Alleged Human Trafficking Held Captive In Sydney Man's Home

The 17-year-old had been promised work in Australia as a cleaner.

19/05/2017 7:37 AM AEST | Updated 19/05/2017 1:34 PM AEST
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The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) are pleading for help from the public for any information regarding how a 17-year-old girl from West Africa became the victim of alleged human trafficking and sexual servitude.

The teenager travelled to Sydney from her home in Guinea, via Paris, with an unidentified man who had offered her work as a cleaner.

After arriving in early April, the teenager was driven to the man's unit -- believed to be in the Sydney metropolitan area -- and was kept in a room where she was believed to have been regularly sexually assaulted by a number of men.

NSWPF Acting Superintendent Mick Haddow said that a general description of the man has led police to believe that he is either a Guinean national or an African male.

The girl only managed to escape from her alleged captor's house in the early hours of Thursday 27 April. She continued to run as she fled from the home until she was picked up by an unknown woman who drove her to the Asylum Seeker Centre in Sydney's inner west.

This woman, believed to be named 'Nicole', is crucial to the investigation.

Haddow said that it has been a "very difficult investigation" due to the victim's cultural and language barriers.

The teenager was taken to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for treatment following consultation with the Anti-Slavery Unit at the University of Technology, Sydney.

She is currently in the care of Family and Community Services.

"She's being looked after the best she can be," Haddow said.

"It's a very traumatic situation and this takes months, years -- or really could take forever -- to get over."

The AFP and NSWPF are currently investigating the circumstances which surround the girl's arrival to Australia and the reported incidents since that time, including sexual assaults. Both have said that there are more questions than answers and that they need help to find out how she got to Australia.

"It's very difficult for a 17-year-old girl from West Africa to try and describe the streets in and around Newtown," Haddow said.

"We have way too many gaps than what we'd like."

Both agencies are appealing to the public for any information that may assist with their investigations, including identifying the 'Good Samaritan' that drove the girl to the Asylum Seeker Centre. It is believed her name is 'Nicole' and that she drives a small red car.

Investigators also wish to speak with anyone who may have seen or heard the girl after her escape from the home.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 00 or 131 AFP (131 237).

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