Police raided addresses across east London and Essex this morning (credit: Essex Police)
Essex Police’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit has been investigating organised crime groups who are suspected of bringing vulnerable people into the country and forcing them to grow and guard cannabis.
Officers searched eight properties in Canning Town, Stepney Green, Clacton and Canvey this morning. They detained a total of ten people for a variety of offences.
Footage from the police raids carried out this morning (credit: Essex Police)
Detectives also discovered between 400 and 500 cannabis plants at an address in River Road, Barking. They recovered Class A drugs, two tasers and three gas canisters in three open plan offices at the top of the building.
At a separate address in Melbourne Road, Clacton, they found around 100 cannabis plants, estimated to be worth a four-figure sum, in three bedrooms in the upper floor of a house.
A total of five victims have been safeguarded as a result of their investigation.
Those arrested today include a 36-year-old man from Canning Town and 33-year-old from Clacton. They were detained on suspicion of committing a modern slavery offence, arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploit, being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug, cultivation of cannabis and extracting electricity.
Two men from Canvey, aged 37 and 41, were arrested for the same offences except for being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug. Instead, they are accused of being involved in a conspiracy to supply a controlled drug.
A further two women, aged 19 and 63, from east London, were arrested on suspicion of committing a modern slavery offence, human trafficking and being concerned in the supply of cannabis. A 16-year-old boy and a 42-year-old man from the same area were also arrested on suspicion of these offences.
Two men, aged 32 and 56, from Stapleford Abbotts, were arrested on suspicion of possession of firearms offences. The 32-year-old was arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs, and the 56-year-old was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.
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Tags: Newham, Barking, Canning Town, Stepney Green
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