Missing woman 'captive' in cannabis nursery

14 February 2006

AMSTERDAM — Police dismantling an illegal cannabis cultivation operation in the west of Rotterdam discovered a woman missing since 2003, it was revealed on Tuesday.

The woman, 28, was found in the house on 1 February and she said she had been held captive in a hidden room there for years. A man, 59, who lived above the cannabis operation was arrested.

The man and woman were known to each other prior to her disappearance. The Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) could not say on Tuesday whether the man had been investigated when the woman vanished.

The woman said she was confined to the hidden room and the area where the cannabis was grown. The hidden compartments were built at the same time as the cannabis operation was begun.

The OM declined to describe the room or say what street the house was on. The woman has been brought to a safe location and has been re-united with her family. She is a good physical state but the authorities would say nothing else about her health.

Her family reported her as missing on 1 May 2003 but later retracted this after receiving occasional phone calls from her.

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