Landmark judgement secured in GLA case
20th January 2016
The GLA is the first UK law enforcement agency to secure a Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order for labour exploitation.
A judge at Kings Lynn Crown Court issued the ground-breaking orders against Lithuanian nationals Konstantin Sasmurin and Linus Ratautas while sentencing them on Friday. Following a joint investigation by the GLA and police in Norfolk and Suffolk, the duo had admitted transporting two male twins to Norfolk and subjecting them to forced labour in food factories in Suffolk.
They paid them a combined total of £20 for four months work, forcing them to sleep on the floor in barbaric accommodation and providing scant food so they went hungry. In court last week Sasmurin and Ratautas, of Caister-on-Sea, admitted charges of trafficking people into the UK for the purposes of labour exploitation plus money laundering offences.
On Friday they were each given three-and-a-half years in prison as well as being made subject to the Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders (STPOs). GLA Chief Executive Paul Broadbent said: “I’m very proud and feel it is fitting that the first order to prevent future labour exploitation issued by a UK court has resulted from a joint investigation involving the police and the GLA.
“These orders were designed as an additional legal option to control the behaviour of individuals who may cause harm through committing slavery and human trafficking offences. “Securing the first one in the UK to prevent labour exploitation sends a clear message to all those seeking to exploit vulnerable people that the GLA can and will take action and has the necessary legislation to bring traffickers to justice and prevent reoffending.”
STPOs were introduced in the UK as part of the Modern Slavery Act of 2015 and first became available to the courts from 31 July 2015. The first ever order issued was for sexual exploitation in October last year. The Act allows orders to be issued on sentencing when the judge feels there is a significant risk that the defendants before them might re-offend.
Press release issued by GLA Communications and Information Officer Paul Fearn. For more information from the GLA contact 0115 959 7069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
1. The GLA operates throughout the UK and is a Non-Departmental Public Body.
2. It was formed in 2005 in the wake of the Morecambe Bay cockle picking disaster when 23 Chinese workers drowned on the sands.
3. The GLA licences companies that supply labour (gangmasters) for agriculture, horticulture, shellfish gathering as well as all associated processing and packaging.
4. Its main strategic priorities are to prevent worker exploitation, protect vulnerable people and tackle unlicensed and criminal activity.
5. Under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act (2004), it is illegal both to operate as, or enter into an agreement with, an unlicensed gangmaster. www.gla.gov.uk