South Wales slavery inquiry: Third 'victim' found by police

Investigation sparked after shock discovery of man in Marshfield who had been missing for 13 years

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The Independent Online

A third suspected victim has been discovered in a south Wales property by police investigating an alleged slavery ring.

In what was described as a “fast moving” and “complicated” investigation, the 60-year-old British man was discovered after a raid on a farm in St Brides, near Newport, and was last night being assessed by specialist Red Cross staff.

Three men from St Brides – aged 53, 38 and 20 – were arrested on suspicion of slavery and servitude offences.

This brings the total number of people arrested in connection with the investigation to seven and followed the discovery of a Polish man at a farm near Newport earlier this week.

A man from Kidderminster was found at the same property after going missing some 13 years previously while on holiday in Porthcawl, South Wales. The Home Office has described the suspected slave ring as a “shocking case” and an “appalling reminder of the extent to which slavery has reappeared in our country”.

As part of the Operation Imperial investigation into the slavery allegations, three men, aged 66, 42 and 36 and a 42-year-old woman were arrested on Monday. Last night, the three men were charged with false imprisonment, conspiracy to hold a person in servitude and conspiracy to require a person to perform forced labour. They are due to appear before magistrates today.

More than 150 police officers and staff began their inquiries earlier this year after Darrell Simester was found with torn clothes and teeth missing.

Meanwhile, a search continues for a body which officers believe may have buried between Cardiff and Newport. Detective Superintendent Paul Griffiths ,who is leading the investigation, said: “We are also acting on intelligence which suggests that the body of an unknown person may be buried in the area.

“As such, specially trained officers, equipment and a forensic archaeologist have been deployed to investigate.”