Details are slowing emerging about a victim identified only as a “vulnerable male in his forties”, who is now in the care of Westminster Social Services. He was whisked to safety after officers swooped as he headed off on a rare unsupervised outing to Glasgow some days ago.
It is believed he was enticed into central London on a far-fetched promise of respectable employment, described vaguely as “running the country”. His “keeper”, a manipulative, Svengali-like older man believed to be an Old Etonian, is helping anti-trafficking detectives from Scotland Yard with their enquiries.
According to social workers, the victim “had developed full-blown Stockholm syndrome” when rescued, and was babbling about having to get back to his committee meetings and despatch boxes as soon as possible. His carers were touched by his pathetic devotion to his captor, whom he referred to as “Dave”, and his talk of the importance of their “standing together” and “moving forward”. However, he eventually accepted the reality of his position, and is now beginning to calm down over a cup of cocoa and some comic books.
It is understood that his captivity was sweetened with “treats” such as outings to constituencies, where he was allowed to mingle and shake hands with a few people under the watchful eye of the older man. He has also mentioned trips to Brussels and even Washington, but it is not clear whether these were faked by his captors.
“It's the classic case of a naive individual being taken in with false promises”, said a Scotland Yard spokesman. “We've seen it all before – talk of a job as a dancer or waitress, glamorous life, etc. But even the most hardened policemen were shocked when they learned the poor man was lured into this shameful business on the pretence of being made Deputy Prime Minister – we really need a brand new law to deal with this kind of thing.”