Two arrested on suspicion of modern slavery

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Two have been arrested on suspicion of modern-day slavery
Two have been arrested on suspicion of modern-day slavery

Related tags: Human trafficking

A couple have been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery and gangmaster offences, after bringing people into the UK to work at a food factory.

The Romanian couple – a 30-year-old male and his 32-year-old female partner – were apprehended by Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) officers at a detached property in Ely, Cambridgeshire on February 5.

Six workers who had been brought to the UK by the suspects and put to work in a salad processing factory were found at the same address.

Potential victims of human trafficking

The GLAA removed the workers to a temporary reception centre where they continue to be supported and assessed as potential victims of human trafficking. The British Red Cross also provided welfare support to the alleged victims.

Tony Byrne, senior investigation officer at the GLAA, said: “This once again demonstrates the GLAA’s commitment to using our enhanced remit to investigate reported instances of modern slavery while remaining true to our founding principle of protecting vulnerable workers from exploitation.”

Cambridgeshire Police and the National Crime Agency assisted the investigation. According to the GLAA, the two suspects have been “released under investigation”. ​Enquiries into the offences are continuing, it said.

Other arrests

The past three months saw a number of arrests following investigations by the GLAA over suspected modern slavery offences.

In November, three people were arrested in Kent over unlicensed gangmaster offences. The operation also identified three Lithuanian men who were sent to work in chicken factories.

Meanwhile, last month, a Cornish gangmaster, that provided workers to both a vegetable producer and seafood processing factory, has been shut down by the GLAA.

Related topics: People & Skills, Fresh produce

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