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Three men facing slavery probe after police raid at flower farm

Officers carried out an operation at Manaccan, near Helston, Cornwall, over suspicions migrant workers were victims of modern slavery offences.

The welfare of 200 workers at a flower-picking farm is being checked after three men were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences.

Police launched a raid at the farm at Manaccan, near Helston, Cornwall, over suspicions that migrant workers were victims of modern slavery offences.

A 61-year-old man and a 41-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences. A 49-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being an unlicensed gangmaster.

All three men, who are from the Helston area, remain in police custody.

Devon and Cornwall Police said about 200 migrant workers at the farm had their welfare safeguarded by Cornwall Council with support from The Salvation Army and the British Red Cross.

Of these, 12 men and two women, who are believed to be aged between 20 and 40, have elected to seek help through a national referral mechanism which means that potential victims are offered support.

A force spokesman said: “Those affected by this alleged crime are mostly male migrants thought to be from Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria.”

A Cornwall Council spokeswoman added: “The people being supported are not in trouble and they are not being detained.

“They are free to leave at any time but will be encouraged to take up the offers of help that are available.

“All agencies are working together to help the alleged victims over the next 72 hours, after which an assessment will be carried out to decide next steps.”

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