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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
John Dunne

Police open investigation into Sir Mo Farah’s trafficking ordeal

The Metropolitan police has launched an investigation into claims by Sir Mo Farah that he was trafficked into the UK and forced into domestic servitude.

The four-time Olympic champion told a BBC documentary that he was brought to London by a stranger under an assumed name after escaping war in Somalia aged nine.

Farah has accused the couple he was living with of forcing him to cook, clean and babysit.

He claimed they told him he would never see his family again if he told anyone the truth. The documentary, The Real Mo Farah, also revealed that his name is actually Hussein Abdi Kahin.

A police statement said: “Specialist officers have opened an investigation and are currently assessing the available information.”

The athlete had previously claimed he had left Somalia aged eight to join his father, after his parents sent three of their six children to London for the chance of a better life.

Farah said his real father, Abdi, died in the Somali civil war before he was sent by his mother to live with family in Djibouti. He was then brought to the UK by a woman.

When he arrived in Britain Farah claimed he lived with a married couple who treated him badly. His PE teacher at school, Alan Watkinson, rescued him and also helped him to apply for British citizenship using his assumed name.

Mr Watkinson said the athlete "locked away" his past because he wanted to focus on the "one thing that drove him".

Speaking about the rise of the four-time Olympian on Good Morning Britain, Mr Watkinson said: "He was in that situation where really he had no other option.

"I think the progress he was making as an athlete, the knowledge that if the story came out at any time what would that mean for him.

"I believe he locked that away because he wanted to focus on the thing that drove him."

In the documentary, the athlete discloses that the name Mohamed Farah was stolen from another child and used to create a fake passport.

“Most people know me as Mo Farah, but it’s not my name or it’s not the reality,” he said. “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.”

Ahead of the broadcast, Sir Mo said he created the documentary for his family.

He wrote on Instagram: "I'm so proud have represented Great Britain and to achieved what I have as a GB athlete.

"But, my proudest achievement will always be being a husband and father to my amazing family.

"I did this documentary for them, so they could understand more about the experiences that led us to becoming the family we are today.

"Not every child will have the easiest start in life, but that doesn't mean they can't go on to achieve their dreams.

"I hope you'll all watch later and I can't wait to hear what you think."

The Home Office earlier confirmed it would not take action against Sir Mo after he revealed the information.

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