TWO men have been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences in Coventry.
The arrests were made following an operation at addresses in the city centre this morning (September 13), the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) says.
A spokesperson said: “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 through keeping his ID, withholding his wages, and even threats of violence.
“Both suspects aged 49 and 38 are currently in custody and enquiries are ongoing to identify any further victims.”
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.”
Anyone who has suspicion of modern slavery or labour exploitation offences should call the GLAA’s intelligence team on 0800 432 0804 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.