Suspected unlicensed gangmaster arrested in Northern Ireland
2nd April 2015
Sususpected unlicensed gangmaster arrested in Northern Ireland
A man who was suspected of acting as an unlicensed gangmaster in Northern Ireland was arrested yesterday in Lurgan by the GLA assisted by officers from the PSNI. The 39-year-old Romanian national was apprehended as part of the regulatory authority’s ongoing investigations into unlicensed labour provision on fruit farms in County Armagh.
He is suspected of supplying workers to pick apples and other fruit without a licence at various locations in the area – activities that require a GLA licence. He was released pending reports being submitted to the Public Prosecution Service. Providing workers for roles in agriculture, horticulture and food processing and packaging without a GLA licence is a criminal offence that carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
If anyone suspects workers are being exploited or provided by unlicensed operators they are asked to contact the GLA on the confidential reporting line 0800 432 0804 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Press release issued by GLA Communications and Information Officer Paul Fearn. For more information from the GLA contact 0115 959 7069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
1. The GLA operates throughout the UK and is a Non-Departmental Public Body.
2. The authority was formed in 2005 in the wake of the Morecambe Bay cockle picking disaster when 23 Chinese workers drowned on the sands.
3. The GLA licences companies that supply labour (gangmasters) for agriculture, horticulture, shellfish gathering as well as all associated processing and packaging.
4. Its main strategic priorities are to prevent worker exploitation, protect vulnerable people and tackle unlicensed and criminal activity.
5. Under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act (2004), it is illegal both to operate as, or employ the services of, an unlicensed gangmaster.