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One arrest in Norfolk crime gang raids

 One arrest in Norfolk & lsquo;crime gang’ raids

A man was arrested on suspicion of fraud yesterday as part of an ongoing multi-agency inquiry into the suspected exploitation of workers and other criminal activity of a gang in Norwich.

Officers from the Gangmasters Licensing Authority joined forces with Norfolk Police, Norwich City Council and the UK Border Agency to execute three warrants in the city yesterday morning.

Raids were carried out and evidence seized at a garage in Denmark Opening, off Sprowston Road, as well as homes in Ranworth Road and Wilberforce Road.

The searches took place as part of a police &bdquoday of action? in Norwich and came after months of investigative work into the activities of the Lithuanian gang operating in the north of the city.

It is suspected they might be involved in supplying workers for both agriculture and food processing without a licence. Provision of temporary workers to these sectors is regulated by and requires a licence from the GLA.

The three addresses were entered simultaneously and the 23-year-old man was arrested at Ranworth Road on allegations of fraud by false representation. He remains in custody at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre.

GLA Chief Executive Paul Broadbent said: “As an intelligence-led organisation, we rely on members of the public to inform us when something appears to be wrong within the employment sector we regulate.

“In this case, we had received enough information to suggest the suspect could be acting as a gangmaster unlawfully, and the properties we visited may be involved in serious organised criminal activities.

“By working with Norfolk Police and other local organisations, who teamed up to execute these warrants and search the properties, we have been able to retain substantial amounts of evidence.

“Through forensic investigation of the items seized, we will seek to prosecute these suspects.”

The Norwich Policing Commander, Superintendent Dave Marshall, said: “This day of action should serve as a reminder to those involved in criminality that we are intent on disrupting this activity.

“Whether it?s the use of illegal drugs, handling of stolen property or the exploitation of the vulnerable, we are determined to target these issues which often impact on the quality of life for residents in our communities.

“Criminals need to be looking over their shoulder&hellipI can reassure them we won?t be far behind.”


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