GLAA officers, assisted by Kent Police, issued five warrants in the early morning in the Maidstone Area. Two men, aged 55 and 54, and a 55 year-old woman were arrested and are now in police custody.
The three were questioned in connection with alleged modern slavery and unlicensed gangmaster offences.
Unlicensed gangmaster offences
The operation also identified three Lithuanian men who were sent to work in chicken factories.
The men were taken to a reception centre, where they have been invited to provide statements and assessed to establish if they are potential victims of trafficking or modern slavery.
Other agencies assisting in the operation included the Salvation Army, Maidstone Borough Council, the Women’s Institute and the National Health Service.
Employment standards required by law
The GLAA – formerly the Gangmasters Licensing Authority – is a non-departmental public body that regulates businesses that provide workers to the fresh produce supply chain and horticulture industry, to make sure they meet the employment standards required by law.
Meanwhile, in May, the GLAA issued formal warnings to a Somerset gangmaster that acted “above the law” and supplied workers to a fish processing plant without the necessary licence. The gangmaster was ordered to pay more than £4,000.