Romanian Gangmaster operating in the Isle of Skye prosecuted in the Shellfish Industry
16th May 2012
On 14 May 2012 Vitalie Cacicovschi, 38, of Portree, appeared at Portree Sheriff Court charged with offences under the Gangmaster (Licensing) Act 2004. Cacicovschi pled guilty to trading as an unlicensed Gangmaster, and the case was adjourned until 11 June 2012 for sentencing.
The period of offending came to light following a multi-agency operation as a result of which sixteen foreign workers were taken into the care of the authorities following Cacicovschi arrest in February 2011.
The 16 people, many of whom were Romanians, were working as shellfish pickers, and had complained of their „treatment‟. The full circumstances of the offending will be detailed at sentencing.
In a separate case Peter Lackey, based in Cumbria, was found guilty of acting as an unlicensed gangmaster see related press release.
Notes to editors
1. The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) was set up to curb the exploitation of workers in the agricultural, horticultural, shellfish gathering and associated processing and packing industries. The Act establishing it was passed in 2004.
2. Protecting workers is the key aim alongside protecting legitimate labour providers and protecting the tax payer by uncovering unpaid taxes.
3. The GLA regulate the supply of workers and labour services to any of the regulated sectors in the UK.
4. This is the third GLA prosecution of a gangmaster operating in the shellfish industry.
See: http://gla.defra.gov.uk/PageFiles/1054/Final1%20- %20Benson%20prosecution%20release%20Sept%202009.pdf. The second case, which has concluded, relates to Mr P Lackey, as identified above.
5. It is a criminal offence to provide labour in the industries regulated by the GLA without a licence. It is also an offence to use labour provided by unlicensed labour providers.
6. The GLA assess compliance against its Licensing Standards which reflects UK legislation, including Forced Labour Offence. Licensing Standard 1.1 covers whether a person is “Fit & Proper” to hold a licence.
7. In December 2009 a new offence of forced labour was introduced in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland. It became an offence in Scotland in August 2010. GLA guidance on the offences can be found in GLA Brief 9.
8. The GLA is committed to the Governments regulatory principles, and does not conduct inspections without reason where potential risks may be identified.
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Media enquiries: 0845 602 5020