Gillingham man arrested over Medway human trafficking

A man has been arrested over the alleged exploitation of Slovakian nationals in the Medway Towns.

The 35-year-old, from Gillingham, is being held in custody on suspicion of people trafficking and money laundering, Kent Police said.

It comes after warrants were executed at addresses in Windsor Road and Richmond Road in Gillingham earlier.

Seven people have been taken to a reception centre that offers support to victims.

A force spokesman said the action followed a multi-agency investigation into claims workers were being forced to live in squalid conditions and threatened with violence if they failed to comply with their supervisor's instructions.

They were working in a number of different industries, including the food industry, he said.

Det Sgt Susan Marsden, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "Extensive intelligence work and reports from the community suggests Slovakian migrants are being lured into the country with offers of work, accommodation and prosperity.

"However, the reality is they are being forced into living in squalid conditions and having their lives controlled by those that had promised so much and are now profiting from their labour."

She said victims were typically being asked to work two jobs, often up to 60 hours a week, receiving a nominal wage of £10 to £15 with the supervisors pocketing the rest of the money.

The raid was executed with support from by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, the UK Human Trafficking Centre, HMRC, the Red Cross and the Department for Work and Pensions.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Kent

Weather

Canterbury

12 °C 9 °C

Features

  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    Selection of the best news photographs from around the world


  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist


  • StampsPost independence

    Will stamps get cheaper if Scots go it alone?


  • Rhea10 things

    Rhea birds can be extremely dangerous, plus other factlets


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.