DILI (AFP) — UN and East Timorese police have arrested 28 foreign nationals as part of investigations into illegal immigration and possible human trafficking, the UN mission here said Thursday.
Officers raided two bars in the East Timorese capital Dili on Wednesday, the mission said in a statement.
At one bar, eight females suspected of involvement in sex work were arrested "for identification purposes, in connection with investigations into illegal immigration and possible human trafficking," it said.
At a second bar, 13 women and seven men, all foreign nationals, were arrested "for identification purposes related to investigations into the trafficking of women."
A UN official said the mission was not at liberty to say where the 28 were from as police were still trying to confirm all of their identities.
A US State Department 2007 report said that the half-island nation was a destination country for women trafficked from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
East Timor is one of the world's poorest nations. International peacekeepers are on patrol here following unrest triggered by factional fighting among security forces in 2006. UN police are also assisting in providing security.
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