|Cash seized during the raid. Photo courtesy of the NCA|
Three people have been arrested in the UK as part of an investigation into the smuggling of mainly Vietnamese migrants to work in illegal cannabis farms.
Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) raided addresses in the city of Birmingham and took three men into custody.
Two are being held on suspicion of holding a person in slavery or servitude, production and supply of a controlled drug and cultivating cannabis.
The third suspect was arrested on suspicion of arranging the travel of another person with a view to exploitation.
The nationalities of the men detained have not been revealed.
At one address, officers seized around 25,000 GBP (VNĐ700,000,000) in cash.
NCA senior investigating officer Paul Boniface said: “Our investigation is focused on a crime group suspected of trafficking mainly Vietnamese migrants into the UK illegally.
“The victims would be transported often hundreds of miles across the country and then put to work in cannabis farms.
“This type of exploitation is often hidden in plain sight. As part of our investigations we have come across cannabis farms operating in residential streets, or near busy retail premises. I would ask anyone who sees anything suspicious that they may think may be connected to modern slavery to report it.”
Rob Richardson, from the NCA’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit added: “Human trafficking is different from people smuggling in that victims may be forced, coerced or tricked into travelling, rather than willingly making the journey, but some of those who begin their journeys willingly will find themselves under the control of traffickers.
“Those who arrive here illegally are always more vulnerable.” VNS