A man arrested as part of a police operation to tackle the exploitation of migrant workers in the Fens has been charged.Police raided homes across Wisbech, March and King's Lynn earlier this week as part of Operation Endeavour.
27-year old Ivars Mezals from Conference Way in Wisbech has since been charged with acting as an unlicensed Gangmaster, blackmail and fraud by false representation. Eight others who were arrested during the raids have been released on bail.
There have been nine arrests in a series of police raids in the Cambridgeshire Fens. 300 police officers targeting properties in the Fenland towns of March, Wisbech and Kings Lynn in West Norfolk.
Eight properties were targeted in an attempt to crack down on the exploitation of migrant workers.
Fenland Commander, Chief Insp Mike Winters, said. "We are committed to working with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and other partner agencies to tackle the exploitation of workers in the Fenland area and we are targeting those who gain from others' suffering."
"They are paid wages well below the legal minimum for extremely long hours and their pay is often taken to service debt on their accommodation. Victims are often too frightened to come forward and too reluctant to seek help from the authorities."
"I would urge anyone who feels they are being exploited to or has any concerns about individual workers to contact police."
GLA Chief Executive Paul Broadbent said. "The exploitation of vulnerable people for financial gain was one of the primary reasons the GLA was formed and it remains the cornerstone of what we do today."