The Metropolitan Police said they were “evaluating” allegations by Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah that he was trafficked into the UK as a child and forced to work as a domestic worker.
The four-time Olympic champion, 39, revealed in the BBC documentary The Real Mo Farah that he was brought to Britain from Somalia illegally taking the name of another child, after His father was killed in the Civil War.
The Met Police said in a statement: “We are aware of media reports regarding Sir Mo Farah.
“No reports have been made to the MPS (Urban Police Department) at this time.
“Specialty officers are currently assessing the available information.”
Figures from the political world have hailed Sir Mo as “really inspiring” and a “wonderful Englishman” after he revealed he had been trafficked to Britain as a child.
Prime Minister Nadhim Zahawi hailed Sir Mo as a “really inspiring” role model following the revelations.
Asked how he felt reading Sir Mo’s story, the hopeful Tory leader told BBC Breakfast: “Heartbroken, painful. I was very lucky to have my parents with me when we fled Iraq.
“It was difficult, no doubt, I was 11 years old, I didn’t understand why we were running away from Saddam Hussein, I knew he was a dictator, I knew he was terrible.
“All I can say is I salute Mo Farah. What an incredible human being to have to go through that trauma in childhood, and to go through it and be such a great role model is truly inspiring – and exemplary. “
Video of the day
Similarly, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted in support of the Olympian.
“Everything that Sir Mo is alive proves he is not only one of our greatest Olympic athletes but also a truly great Englishman.
“@Mo_Farah thank you for sharing your story and making the focus of these terrible crimes. We must build a future where these tragic events are never repeated,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Labor MP Yvette Cooper tweeted: “This is incredible bravery.
“Can’t imagine what @Mo_Farah has gone through. Child trafficking is the worst crime.
“His courage and strength in speaking out must be an urgent impetus for even stronger actions to help all those affected and stop this terrible crime.”
Lisa Nandy, shadow secretary of state for promotions, said the athlete’s decision to speak out could be an “alternative game”.
“I have spent a decade working with children trafficked to the UK and everything about this is heartbreaking,” she wrote.
“But it could also be a gamechanger so thank you @Mo_Farah for having the courage to speak out.”
After the shock announcement, Sir Mo said he was “really proud” of the documentary that made it possible for him to “answer and learn more” about his past and his journey to Britain.
Speaking in the documentary, he revealed “the truth is I’m not who you think I am”, adding that he needs to tell his true story “no matter what”.
The father of four said: ‘Most people know me as Mo Farah but that’s not my name or that’s not the reality.
“The real story is that I was born in Somaliland, in the north of Somalia, as Hussein Abdi Kahin. Despite what I’ve said in the past, my parents have never lived in the UK.
“When I was four years old, my father was killed in the civil war, you know, we were like a divided family.
“I was separated from my mother and I was brought into the UK illegally under the name of another child named Mohamed Farah.”
Sir Mo, who became the first British track and field athlete to win four Olympic gold medals, said his children pushed him to be honest about his past.
In the documentary, a lawyer tells Sir Mo that although he was trafficked into the country as a child and he has told the relevant authorities the truth, there is still a “real risk”. his British citizenship may be taken away when obtained by misrepresentation.
But it is understood that the Home Office will not take any action against Sir Mo and he will not be stripped of his citizenship.
The department’s guidance clarifies that it assumes a child is not complicit in obtaining citizenship by deception, stating: “If the person was a child at the time of the fraud, misrepresent or concealing material facts (resulting in citizenship), case officers should assume that they are not complicit in any deception by their parents or guardians.”
Asked about these revelations, a Number 10 spokesman said of the Olympic champion: “He’s a sporting hero, he’s an inspiration to people around the country.
“It is a shocking reminder of the horrors people face when they are trafficked. And we must continue to crack down on criminals who take advantage of these vulnerable people.”
Asked if the Home Office had taken any action against Sir Mo, he said: “Absolutely not. I think the Home Office has been very clear that there will not be any action against Mr. Mo and that is in line with the guidance. “
Speaking to his wife in the documentary, Sir Mo said: “I don’t think I’m ready to say anything – not because you want to lie, but because you’re defending yourself.
“(I) think you only realize later down the line that you can just let it all out and say how it happened.
“But in this, I think you know I’ve been trafficked and that’s what it feels like.”
The documentary ends with Sir Mo talking to the real Mohamed Farah whose identity he entered the UK, before adding Sir Mo will continue to go by the name he was given when he entered. entry into the UK.
Celebrities including Judi Love and David Baddiel were among those who spoke out in support of the athlete, describing him as a “hero” who made people “proud to be British”.
Comedian Baddiel shared a photo of the couple, writing: “Whether he’s Sir Mo Farah or Hussein Abdi Kahin he’s a hero.”
The comedian and host of Love added: “You just never know what someone is carrying.”
Real Mo Farah will air at 6am on BBC iPlayer and 9pm on BBC One on July 13.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/police-assessing-allegations-sir-mo-farah-was-trafficked-to-uk-as-child-41834669.html Police ‘review’ allegations Sir Mo Farah was trafficked to UK as a child