Two men have been charged with modern slavery offences in Ashton-Under-Lyne.
25-year-old Thomas Maslulis of Ashton-Under-Lyne has been charged with kidnapping or false imprisonment with the intention of committing human trafficking and knowingly holding another person in slavery or servitude, under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
20-year-old Edmundas Zigmantas of Ashton-Under-Lyne has also been charged with knowingly holding another person in slavery or servitude, under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
They have been remanded in custody to appear before Tameside Magistrates’ Court on Monday 7 March. Four other people were arrested on suspicion of being involved in organised crime and have been bailed until 4 May 2016.
On Friday 4 March an 18-year-old man told police that he was being held in servitude and forced to work. Officers attended the address and made six arrests for organised crime related theft and later, two further arrests for offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The victim was removed from the address and is being cared for by police and partner agencies.
Detective Inspector Richard Ennis has said, “As this case will now go before the court, we cannot make any comment and it is important we respect the legal process. However I do want to stress that we will investigate all reports of human trafficking and modern slavery thoroughly. Tackling this issue is an absolute priority for us and I would urge anyone who does have information to speak to us, in confidence if needed”.