Anti-slavery police swoop at Preston car wash

A man suspected of trafficking workers into the UK to work at a hand car wash in Preston has been arrested following a raid.

Friday, 20th October 2017, 12:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 10:35 am
Specialist investigators are interviewing the suspected victims who worked at the Shiny car wash

Police and specialist investigators from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) swooped on the The Shiny car wash on London Road on Thursday, October 20 where eight potential victims were discovered.

The operation was planned following intelligence received by GLAA investigators and was carried out by police from Preston's Modern Slavery Unit, officers from Immigration Enforcement and the National Crime Agency.

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The suspect, who operated the car wash business in Preston was questioned and has since been released pending further investigation.

All eight employees discovered at the site were male Romanian nationals and have been taken to a temporary reception centre.

There they will be interviewed and assessed to see if they should be referred to the UK Human Trafficking Centre as Potential Victims of Trafficking.

The car wash was previously the subject of an Immigration Enforcement investigation in 2013 when two illegal immigrants were found to be working using false documents.

The GLAA is the foremost agency for tackling labour exploitation in England and Wales. The Government body was granted powers to investigate forced labour and associated trafficking Modern Slavery offences in April this year.

Anyone who suspects a person is the victim of human trafficking can report it in confidence to the GLAA on 0800 432 0804.