South Scotland

Raids target foreign fish worker exploitation

Fish
Image caption The operation is investigating the alleged exploitation of foreign fishing workers

A number of businesses, homes and trawlers have been searched in a probe into the alleged exploitation of foreign fishing workers.

Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said warrants had been used at business and residential premises in Annan.

It added similar searches had been carried out on trawlers at Silloth in Cumbria and Peterhead in Aberdeenshire.

The operation involved about 150 personnel from both the police and its partner agencies.

It was part of an ongoing investigation being coordinated by Scotland's smallest police force.

It is being supported by a range of agencies including the United Kingdom Border Agency, the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Marine Scotland.

Ch Supt Gary Small said: "I can confirm that we are currently coordinating welfare and support arrangements for 17 foreign nationals located during this morning's searches.

"These individuals came to the UK from the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia to work in the fishing industry.

"Given we are at an early stage of a large-scale and complex enquiry, I am not in a position to comment further in relation to the specific nature of the allegations being investigated at this time."

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