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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Kieren Williams

Police launch probe into Sir Mo Farah being trafficked into UK as child

Police chiefs have opened an investigation into Sir Mo Farah’s revelation he was trafficked into Britain as a child to be kept as a domestic slave.

The four-time Olympic champion revealed in a BBC documentary how he was illegally smuggled into the UK, from Somalia.

He also revealed how his real name was Hussein Abdi Kahin before he had been given a new one upon arrival.

The Met Police previously said they were “assessing” the situation but tonight confirmed that specialist officers have opened an investigation.

This comes as 'The Real Mo Farah' is aired tonight which details his arrival in the UK, aged only nine.

Mo Farah in his documentary 'The Real Mo Farah' which documents his arrival in the UK, aged nine (BBC/Atomized Studios/Andy Boag)

The Met Police said in a statement: “We are aware of reports in the media concerning Sir Mo Farah.

“No reports have been made to the MPS at this time.

"Specialist officers have opened an investigation and are currently assessing the available information.”

Figures from the world of politics have praised Sir Mo as "truly inspirational" and a "great Briton" after he revealed he was trafficked into the UK as a child.

Lisa Nandy, shadow secretary of state for levelling up, said the athlete's decision to speak out could be a "gamechanger".

"I spent a decade working with children who were trafficked to the UK and everything about this is heartbreaking," she wrote.

Sir Mo Farah with his mother Aisha filming in Somaliland (PA)

"But it could also be a gamechanger so thank you @Mo-Farah for having the courage to speak out."

Following the shock announcement, Sir Mo said he is "really proud" of the documentary, which enabled him to "address 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 he needs to tell his real story "whatever the cost".

The father-of-four said: "Most people know me as Mo Farah but it's not my name or it's not the reality.

"The real story is I was born in Somaliland, north of Somalia, as Hussein Abdi Kahin. Despite what I've said in the past, my parents never lived in the UK.

The four-time Olympian revealed when he came to the UK he wasn't even called Mo Farah (AFP via Getty Images)

"When I was four my dad was killed in the civil war, you know as a family we were torn apart.

"I was separated from my mother, and I was brought into the UK illegally under the name of another child called Mohamed Farah."

Sir Mo, who became the first British track and field athlete to win four Olympic gold medals, said his children have motivated him to be truthful about his past.

In the documentary, a barrister tells Sir Mo that although he was trafficked into the country as a small child and he told the relevant authorities the truth, there is still a "real risk" his British nationality could be taken away as it was obtained by misrepresentations.

But it is understood the Home Office will not be taking any action against Sir Mo and he will not be deprived of his citizenship.

The department's guidance makes clear it assumes a child is not complicit in gaining citizenship by deception, stating: "If the person was a child at the time the fraud, false representation or concealment of material fact was perpetrated (that led to citizenship), the caseworker should assume that they were not complicit in any deception by their parent or guardian."

Asked about the revelations, a Number 10 spokesman said of the Olympic champion: "He is a sporting hero, he is an inspiration to people across the country.

"It is a shocking reminder of the horrors that people face when they are trafficked.

"And we must continue to clamp down on these criminals who take advantage of vulnerable people."

Asked if the Home Office would be taking any action against Sir Mo, he said: "Absolutely not. I think the Home Office has been very clear that no action whatsoever will be taken against Sir Mo and that is in line with the guidance."

Speaking to his wife in the documentary, Sir Mo said: "I don't think I was ever ready to say anything - not because you want to lie, but because you're protecting yourself.

"(I) think you only realise later on down the line it's OK to let things out and say how it happened.

"But in this, I think you know I was trafficked and that's what it feels like."

The documentary ends with Sir Mo speaking to the real Mohamed Farah whose identity he took entering the UK, before adding Sir Mo will continue to go by the name he was given when he entered the UK.

Celebrities including Judi Love and David Baddiel were among those to voice their support for the athlete, describing him as a "hero" who has made people "proud to be British".

Comedian Baddiel shared a picture of the pair, writing: "Whether he's Sir Mo Farah or Hussein Abdi Kahin he's a hero."

Comedian and presenter Love added: "You just never know what someone is carrying."

The Real Mo Farah aired at 6am on BBC iPlayer and 9pm on BBC One on July 13.

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