Police launch investigation into Sir Mo Farah trafficking claims

Four-time Olympic champion says he was forced to work in domestic servitude after entering the UK aged 9

Sir Mo Farah is a hero in the UK after winning four golds at two Olympics. AP
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A police investigation has opened into Sir Mo Farah’s stunning revelations that he was trafficked into Britain as a child slave.

The Somalia-born athlete, who won double Olympic gold for his adopted country at both the 2012 and 2016 Games, revealed in a BBC documentary this week his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin.

Farah, 39, said he was forced to work in domestic servitude after entering the UK aged 9.

London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed on Thursday that an investigation had begun.

“We are aware of reports in the media concerning Sir Mo Farah,” the Metropolitan Police said.

“No reports have been made to the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] at this time. Specialist officers have opened an investigation and are currently assessing the available information.

“Where offences are reported in the media, which are deemed significant public interest and there is no cause to disbelieve [them], then the Met can create a crime report.”

The long-distance runner's documentary, The Real Mo Farah, provides shocking details of how he was taken into the UK illegally under the name of another child.

Farah said he thought he was going to Europe to live with relatives — and recalled going through a UK passport check under the guise of Mohamed.

“I had all the contact details for my relative and, once we got to her house, the lady took it off me and right in front of me ripped them up and put it in the bin, and at that moment I knew I was in trouble,” he said.

The athlete also travelled back to his childhood home in Hounslow, England, recalling “not great memories” where he was not treated as part of the family.

Rather than moving to the UK as a refugee from Somalia with his mother and two of his brothers to join his IT consultant father as previously claimed, Farah’s documentary said he came from Djibouti. This was with a woman he had never met, before he was made to look after another family's children.

He said his father was killed in civil unrest in Somalia when Farah was aged 4.

The runner also credits his former PE teacher Alan Watkinson with saving him from domestic servitude.

On Wednesday, Farah was assured by the British government he would not be stripped of his citizenship, with a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson describing him as “a sporting hero”.

Updated: July 14, 2022, 12:49 PM
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