A High Court judge has ordered the immediate release of three Asian men who have been in police custody 12 days without charge.
The three were part of 18 arrested during police raids, between February 5 and 6, in connection with the discovery of 19 Venezuelans – three teenage girls and 16 women, between the ages of 15 and 19 – who were allegedly held captive for the purpose of sex trafficking.
At about 4 pm today, Justice David Harris ordered the release of the three men after the police failed to justify a reason for the men’s lengthy detention.
The State submitted the police were having difficulties in securing translators to interview the men as well as Spanish-speaking interpreters for the victims as one of the main setbacks in their investigations.
Although their immediate release was ordered, Justice Harris was told that immigration officials have determined that the three have breached immigration laws.
It is expected that they will be immediately arrested by immigration officers, two of whom were in court for this afternoon’s hearings.