Officers from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) have been questioning a woman on suspicion of operating as an illegal gangmaster.
25 year old female arrested
They have arrested a 25 year old female, who holds Romanian and German passports, and questioned her in connection with allegations she attempted to supply 7 migrant workers to a recruitment agency in Telford to work at Faccenda’s processing factory.
The suspect, who has no GLAA licence to operate as a gangmaster in the UK, has been questioned in Wolverhampton and officers have also visited 2 addresses in the Newbridge area of the town.
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Authorities alerted to suspect prior to Christmas
Faccenda said it was pleased that its safety net screening prevented it from employing workers sourced by a suspect gangmaster.
It is understood that 2 of the agencies recruiting staff for the Telford plant were alerted to the activities of the suspect prior to Christmas and both reported their concerns to the GLAA.
Faccenda: Modern Slavery statement
Faccenda updated its Modern Slavery statement in October. Within its 8 point update, the company said it had made significant progress on the Sedex Information Exchange platform, becoming AB members and over 96% of its key suppliers also using the platform.
Providing workers for roles in the fresh produce sector without a licence is a criminal offence under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.
Enquiriesn are continuing, according to the GLAA.