11 held in UK 'slavery' crackdown

Eleven people have been arrested by UK police investigating a criminal gang suspected of running “a modern-day slavery operation” involving migrant workers.

Eleven people have been arrested by UK police investigating a criminal gang suspected of running “a modern-day slavery operation” involving migrant workers.

Dawn raids were carried out at 12 properties in Kent following a two-year investigation by the Kent and Essex Crime Directorate.

Large sums of cash, paperwork and documents, including passports and identity papers, were seized during the searches yesterday.

Victims living at several of the properties were offered advice and support on issues such as healthcare, social services and housing.

Translators were on hand to help the victims in their native languages, including Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish and Russian.

The 11 people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to people-traffic, money-launder and fraud, and freed on bail pending further inquiries.

They were aged between 22 and 40 and were mainly living in the Canterbury and Thanet areas of Kent, a police spokesman said.

A woman from Surrey is also being dealt with by the UK Border Agency in connection with suspected immigration offences.

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