Four people have been arrested in Perthshire following an intelligence-led human trafficking operation.
Three men aged 37, 39, and 53 and a 53-year-old woman were arrested in Blairgowrie on Friday, April 30th as part of ‘Operation Barramundi’ after information was received from the UK Government’s National Referral Mechanism.
The four individuals charged will appear in court on Monday, May 3rd 2021.
Senior Investigating Office, Detective Inspector Marc Lorente, said:
“First and foremost, I would like to thank the local communities where this activity was carried out for their patience, as well as our partners for their ongoing support.
“I would urge anyone with information about potential human trafficking offences in their area to contact the Police so that further enquiries can be carried out.
“Police, other enforcement agencies and partners cannot tackle the wider issue of human trafficking alone – we also need the public to work with us if we are to identify and help vulnerable individuals being exploited.
“If you suspect exploitation is happening in your community, please report it.”
This comes following the launch of Police Scotland’s ‘Break the Chain’ website aimed at identifying labour exploitation and supporting communities and business owners in identifying and tackling this form of modern slavery which has increased dramatically in Scotland in recent years.
A team consisting of officer from Tayside and Police Scotland’s Specialist Crime Division have been working closely with partner agencies including Perth and Kinross Council, Migrant Help and the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) in relation to the investigation and to provide necessary support.
Police Scotland’s Operational Support Unit, the National Human Trafficking Unit as well as staff from GLAA based around the UK were all involved in Fridays search warrant execution and subsequent arrest.
Head of Police Scotland’s Human Trafficking Unit, Detective Superintendent, Fil Capaldi said:
“Police Scotland is committed to identifying and uncovering exploitation networks. This can only be achieved by working collaboratively nationally and internationally with law enforcement partners, to collate information and intelligence that will allow us to pursue organised criminal gangs engaged in human trafficking and exploitation.
“We will utilise all investigative methods at our disposal to bring those who engage in this vile and inhumane trade to justice. The public have a significant role in achieving this and to help make Scotland a hostile environment for traffickers.
“Modern slavery and human trafficking have no place in our communities.”
For more information on the campaign, please visit Police Scotland’s Break the Chain Website.
You can report any concerns to Police Scotland via 101 or via the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700