Suspected construction slaver arrested in London after 11 found in “appalling conditions”: video

A 49-year-old Romanian man was arrested yesterday in London on suspicion of modern slavery offences in the construction industry after a pre-dawn raid by police found 11 men living in "appalling conditions" at Edgeware.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) conducted the raid with the Metropolitan Police as part of an investigation into a Romanian organised crime group suspected of holding the men in debt bondage.

Supported by the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), NCA officers led an operation at a property in Gervase Road, Edgware, London, at around 5am yesterday.

The 49-year-old, a Romanian national, was detained at the scene and is now being questioned by investigators.

Eleven people, all Romanian males who were living at the property, were treated as potential victims of modern slavery and will now be offered support.

NCA senior investigating officer Ian Truby said: "Today’s operation is the culmination of an investigation into a Romanian organised crime group suspected of involvement in trafficking and labour exploitation in the construction industry.

"It is alleged that victims were forced to live in appalling conditions under the control of the group through a form of debt bondage, which meant they received very little money for work they did.

"Following today’s operation a number of items including phones and documents were recovered, they will now be examined and our investigation will continue."

GLAA Director of Operations Ian Waterfield said: "Thousands of people are being exploited for their labour across the country, so I would appeal to the public to report anything suspicions. Ourselves and our colleagues can then take swift and decisive action such as with today’s operation."

Anyone with information about suspected modern slavery can call the Modern Slavery Helpline: 08000 121 700.

Image: The National Crime Agency’s video captured the arrest (NCA)

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