Suffolk

Modern slavery operation in Ipswich: Seven arrests

Modern slavery poster on bin lorry Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Suffolk Police said the operation was carried out "as a result of information from a number of sources"

Seven people have been arrested in an anti-modern slavery operation focussed on factory workers.

The arrests were made at residential addresses in Ipswich and Kesgrave on 12 February.

The five men and two women were held on suspicion of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour before being released on police bail.

Suffolk Police worked alongside the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, officers in Romania and local councils.

The arrested men are aged 21, 23, 23, 47 and 49. The two women are 20 and 31.

Police said the operation was "principally" targeting factory work, but they were not providing further information at the moment.

Det Ch Insp Angus Moir, of Suffolk Police, said: "Modern slavery is hidden in every community and in many cases the victims are very vulnerable and are specifically targeted by their exploiters.

"It takes many forms, but the most common include criminal exploitation, sexual exploitation, forced labour and domestic servitude."

Suffolk Police said a Europol analytics officer supported the operation with cross-checks and a 45-year-old man was also held under a European arrest warrant.

Officers said large quantities of paperwork and cash were recovered and a number of potential victims were spoken to by the agencies involved.

The suspects are due to answer police bail on Friday.

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