Three charged after joint trafficking operation in East Anglia
5th March 2015
Three people have been charged as part of a joint operation between Norfolk Police, Suffolk Police and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA). Arrests were made on Weds 2 April 2014 by officers investigating people trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. A warrant was executed in Great Yarmouth which resulted in a number of arrests.
All the individuals were from the local area and involved in vegetable and meat processing. Three were charged yesterday (WEDS) afternoon. Konstantin Sasmurin, aged 32 and Linus Ratautas, aged 29 – both of Yarmouth Road, Caister - were each charged with acting as a gangmaster without a licence (s12 Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004);holding a person in slavery or servitude or requiring a person to perform forced/compulsory labour (s71 Coroners and Justice Act 2009); trafficking people for exploitation (s4 Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004) and money laundering (s327 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002).
Evelina Perekriostovai, aged 22, also of Yarmouth Road, Caister, was charged with money laundering. All three were bailed to appear at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on 1 April 2015.
In Suffolk, police arrested a 30-year-old man from Norwich in Bury St Edmunds and a 37- year-old woman from Ipswich in Ipswich, also on suspicion of trafficking and supplying unlicensed workers. Both will face no further police action. If anyone suspects someone of being involved in people trafficking they are asked to contact police immediately on 101.
Press release issued in collaboration with Norfolk and Suffolk Police by GLA Communications and Information Officer Paul Fearn. For more information contact Suffolk Police press office.
Notes to editors
1. The GLA operates throughout the UK and is a Non-Departmental Public Body.
2. The authority 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 employ the services of, an unlicensed gangmaster.