Suspected Labour Trafficker Arrested in Black Country
16th November 2009
Officers from the UK Border Agency and Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) swooped at 6am on a house in Brierley Hill on Wednesday 11 November.
The intelligence-led operation resulted in the arrest of a Romanian man who has been accused of arranging for foreign nationals to work for low pay in the agricultural industry in Worcestershire and placing them in filthy accommodation.
Vasile Ghiata, aged 31, of Wavell Road, Brierley Hill has been charged with trafficking offences under Section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004 Trafficking and Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006. He appeared at Halesowen Magistrates Court on 12 November. He indicated a not guilty plea and was remanded in custody awaiting trial.
Gail Adams, UK Border Agency Regional Director, said:
"Our new immigration crime teams in the West Midlands are cracking down on foreign nationals who don’t play by the rules and the people and organisations behind them.
“We are committed to identifying victims of trafficking and tackling the criminal networks behind their exploitation. Working closely with our police colleagues, the GLA and other agencies, we will continue to detect, detain and deport the most harmful people.”
Paul Whitehouse, Chairman of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, said:
“It is often the most vulnerable people in society who are ripped off and exploited. We protect workers and deal with the gangmasters who place profit way above any concern for the degradation and misery they can inflict.
“The Gangmasters Licensing Authority continues to work closely with our partners in order to bring to account those involved in exploiting workers.”
Anyone who has information about immigration crime in the West Midlands should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be assured.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. The UK Border Agency was launched on 3 April 2008, bringing in a single force to protect our borders, control migration for the benefit of the country, prevent border tax fraud, smuggling and immigration crime and make quick and fair decisions on asylum claims.
2. Specially trained UK Border Agency immigration officers carry out enforcement operations and arrests at businesses and private addresses, acting on intelligence received from the public and other sources.
3. Immigration crime teams operate across the West Midlands region consisting of UK Border Agency investigators and officers from West Midlands, Warwickshire, West Mercia and Staffordshire Police Forces