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Sat September 25 2021

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Two arrested for construction slavery

17 Sep 18 Two Indian men have been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences following a Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) operation in Coventry.

GLAA officers made the arrests at addresses north and east of Coventry city centre on the morning of Thursday 13th September 2018.

A 44-year-old Romanian man has been safeguarded and has entered the government’s national referral mechanism, a framework for ensuring potential modern slavery and human trafficking victims receive the support they need.

The GLAA acted following allegations from the potential victim that the suspects had been controlling his behaviour by keeping his ID, withholding his wages and threatening violence.

Both suspects, aged 49 and 38, were detained in custody and enquiries are ongoing to identify any further victims.

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GLAA senior investigating officer Andy Davies said: “This operation saw us act following intelligence we received of potential labour exploitation in the construction sector.

“Modern slavery and labour abuse can come in a variety of forms and I would encourage the public to be aware of some of the key signs that someone is being exploited. Is their freedom being restricted? Is their behaviour slightly unusual? What are their living and working conditions like? Do they have control of their finances? All of these can be signs of labour abuse.

“In some cases, victims may be reluctant to share their story so any information you give can help us rescue and protect vulnerable workers.”

The Coventry arrests came just two days after three people were arrested in Iver, Buckinghamshire, on similar modern slavery charges. Eight people, believed to have been forced to work on building sites, were safeguarded by police and the GLAA. “We are in the early stages of the investigation and considerable work to identify any further victims will follow," said Detective Inspector James Mather of Thames Valley Police.

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