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Modern slavery arrests in Ely and Cornwall

Five people under investigation for modern slavery after arrests in separate incidents at Cambridgeshire salad factory and Cornish flower farm

Modern slavery arrests in Ely and Cornwall

The GLAA is investigating suspected exploitation at a salad-processing factory

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Five gangmasters are being investigated on suspicion of modern slavery following arrests at a salad processing plant in Cambridgeshire and a flower farm in Cornwall.

On 5 February a Romanian couple was apprehended by Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) officers at a detached property in Ely.

The 30-year-old male and his 32-year-old female partner were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery and gangmaster offences.

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

They were all removed to a temporary reception centre where they continue to be supported and assessed as potential victims of human trafficking.

Investigators from GLAA, which protects vulnerable workers from exploitation, are being assisted in the operation by Cambridgeshire Police and the National Crime Agency.

The British Red Cross has also helped by providing welfare support to the alleged victims.

Meanwhile in Cornwall, the welfare of 200 workers is being checked after three men were arrested at a flower farm on 8 February in connection with modern slavery offences.

The following day, the trio – aged 41, 49 and 61 – was released under investigation.

A number of migrant workers received specialist support from the Salvation Army, Red Cross and Cornwall Council following the execution of warrants at the flower picking business near Helston, Cornwall.

Around 200 migrant workers were working at the farm, according to GLAA. Of these, fourteen men and women, believed to be aged between 17 and 40, sought help through a support service for potential victims.

Other agencies involved in the operation included HMRC, the Health and Safety Executive and the Department for work and Pensions.

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