British police

Metropolitan Police is investigating reports that at least 50 girls from Britain were taken to Somalia for female genital mutilation (FGM), local media reported on Friday. British police

A large group of girls, aged between 11 and 17, had been seen on an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Heathrow last Saturday to Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia, and transferred to Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, BBC reported.

British Liberal Democrat peer Lady Tonge, who felt suspicious that so many girls with their mothers and grandmothers appeared at the start of the summer vacation, the so-called “cutting season” of FGM, reported to the Metropolitan Police.
She said those girls spoke English and were of Somali origin.

The Specialist Crime and Operations Command is investigating Lady Tonge’s report, according to BBC.

FGM is illegal across Britain in accordance with relevant laws, unless it is necessary for health reasons. Taking a British national overseas to carry out FGM is also illegal. Some African, Asian and Middle East countries have still been carrying out FGM.
A local court in Bedfordshire, eastern England, made an order to prevent two girls from traveling, as police believed they were at risk of being taken to African for FGM, Bedfordshire Police confirmed on Friday.

New legislation came in on Friday also allows authorities to seize the passports of people suspected to take girls abroad for mutilation. Breaching the order will be a criminal offence.

It is estimated that more than 20,000 girls under the age of 15 in Britain are at risk of FGM each year, but very few cases were reported. Enditem

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