Gangmaster issued five-year slavery order

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

A man suspected of labour abuse has been served a five-year slavery order
A man suspected of labour abuse has been served a five-year slavery order

Related tags slave labour Meat & Seafood

A man suspected of threatening and exploiting vulnerable workers at a south-west England meat processing plant has been served a five-year slavery order.

Catalin Victor Gergely of Marghita, Bihor County has been served a Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order at a hearing in Weston-Super-Mare on Friday 11 February.  

An investigation by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) found that workers were living in overcrowded conditions and were forced to pay off debts to Gergely, leaving them with little money for food. 

The GLAA concluded that the order was necessary to protect members of the public from any potential future criminality. Gergely is now bound by four strict conditions which, if breached, will result in criminal prosecution (see box below).

Civil order against Catalin Victor Gergely

  • Gergely is prevented from arranging or paying for anyone’s travel into or out of the UK, other than for immediately family members. 
  • He is forbidden from arranging either travel or transport of anyone to work other than for his own immediate family. 
  • Gergely must also not arrange or assist anyone’s work or assist them in finding employment. 
  • Finally, he is prevented from procuring, coercing or instructing anyone to rent or sub-let any property or rooms controlled by them or any other accommodation which is owned, controlled or rented by them. 

Gergely, who was not present at the court hearing, has returned to his native Romania.  

GLAA investigating officer Gemma Kirby said: “The GLAA has been successful in securing several orders such as these across many parts of the UK over the last two years. We have found them to be an effective tool in protecting the public from potential slavery or human trafficking-related harm. 

“Having this order in place until 2027 means that we are able to tackle any future misdemeanours swiftly and decisively. We will regularly monitor the order and will not hesitate to act if we find that it is not being complied with fully.” 

Breaching the order is a criminal offence carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison. 

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