Six people aged between 30 and 55 were arrested on Tuesday for modern slavery offences.
The arrests followed a preplanned operation in London and Essex to target an eastern European organised crime group trafficking people from Poland, the Metropolitan Police said.
“Unfortunately, this type of exploitation is still happening across London and the UK,’’ Detective superintendent Andy Furphy said.
“The Met’s modern slavery team works around the clock to identify people involved in human trafficking and forced labour, and we play a role in protecting and supporting hundreds of victims each year.’’
The police also asked members of the public to report if they suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery or sexual exploitation.
The police added that sometimes the persons affected do not see themselves as potential victim or have been coerced into this life to make money for an organised crime network.
“We believe there are victims of modern slavery in every borough across London and the public may encounter them every day, possibly without realising.
“As well as being sexually exploited, victims have been found working in construction, domestic servitude, agriculture, cannabis factories and in places you use yourself such as car washes, barbers and nail bars,” Furphy said.
Tuesday’s arrest warrants were executed in Harrow, Romford, Hayes, Forest Gate and Harlow in Essex, with assistance from officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Territorial Support Group.