Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Four men charged with human trafficking offences

Four Latvian nationals have appeared in court in Scotland following a police operation to tackle human trafficking and organised crime.

The men appeared on petition at Livingston Sheriff Court charged with two offences under the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004.

They were were detained at addresses in Hamilton and Forth, both Lanarkshire, Edinburgh and Salford on Friday.

The four made no plea or declaration and were released on bail.

Detectives from West Lothian CID led a series of anti-trafficking raids as part of Operation Heathyard.

They were supported by partners including West Lothian Council, the National Crime Agency and Greater Manchester Police.

Maris Kursis, 28, from Hamilton, Arvids Civkors, 28, from Edinburgh, Aivars Dzagarjans, 36, from Forth, and Hardijs Langsteins, 35, from Salford, are accused of arranging or facilitating the arrival of individuals in the UK with the intent of exploiting them.

They are also charged with arranging travel for "passengers" within the UK with the intent of exploiting them.

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