Eleven polish men believed to be working at two recycling plants in Sandwell for only £1 per hour
Three men in the West Midlands were arrested on Tuesday, September 27, on suspicion of slavery offences, after it was believed that a number of Polish nationals were working at two recycling plants in Sandwell but only being paid £1 per hour.
West Midlands Police arrested the three men, after raids at two recycling sites, Black Country Recycling, on Union Road, Oldbury and CAP Recycling, on Elwell Street, in West Bromwich.
At the site on Elwell Street, a 52-year-old male was arrested and as a result of other raids, a 26-year-old man and a 47-year-old male were also arrested over alleged slavery offences.
The eleven Polish men were discovered in various places, some at the two recycling plants, others at a flat thought to be where some of the workers lived and in a van parked outside one of the suspect’s address, on Hope Street, West Bromwich.
West Midlands Police stated that one of the Polish nationals was working, regardless of suffering from a broken shoulder and some of the other men showed signs of alcohol addiction and malnutrition.
The group of eleven men were taken to a centre in Tipton and are receiving support from the Red Cross.
Inspector Colin Mattinson, from West Midlands Police, who was in charge of the operation, said: “Police intelligence suggested eastern European men were being exploited at the unit and being paid just £10 for working long hours.”
He went on further, saying that in contrast, the men suspected of taking advantage of the eleven Polish nationals, lived a luxury lifestyle and drove around in expensive vehicles and were plying the group of men with alcohol.
Inspector Mattinson also said that as a result of evidence found, it is believed that some of the men from the group were sleeping on waste cardboard at one of the recycling sites.
The eleven men will also receive medical attention as well as support and then officers will speak to them with the help of Polish interpreters.
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