Monday, 29 September 2014


Suspect in Marxist 'slave' case released without charge

Chanda Pattni, who was arrested last November, is released without charge, while her husband, Aravindan, is re-bailed until December


A woman arrested last year on suspicion of holding three people as “slaves” within a Marxist cult for more than 30 years, has been released without charge, Scotland Yard have said.

Chanda Pattni, 67, who was detained along with her husband Aravindan Balakrishnan, had been questioned in connection with allegations that the couple held three women in domestic servitude at a house in south London.

Mr Balakrishnan, 73, who was further arrested on suspicion of serious sexual offences, has been re-bailed to a date in mid-December, police said.

Mr Balakrishnan and his wife were arrested last November after allegations emerged that they had held three women against their will for more than 30-years at a house in Brixton.

It was alleged that a 69-year-old woman from Malaysia, a 57-year-old from Ireland and a 30-year-old Briton had been forced into domestic servitude by the couple after joining their extreme left wing cult.

At the time of the arrests the police said the group would have appeared to the outside world to be a normal family, but detectives moved in after one of the women decided to report her ordeal to a charity that helps people in slavery.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s human trafficking unit said at the time that the case was “completely unique” in their experience.

After raiding the house, police removed 55 bags of evidence and 12,500 exhibits, but admitted the “complexity” of the case meant it would take a long time to investigate.

It subsequently emerged that the couple had run an extreme Maoist collective at their south London home, but there was no suggestion the members were physically held against their will.

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