Detectives from the PSNI’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit, assisted by local officers and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, have this morning (Thursday 3 March) arrested a man.

This is part of an investigation into labour exploitation involving the fishing industry.

The man, aged 52, was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.  He remains in custody at this time, assisting with police enquiries.

Detective Inspector Rachel Miskelly from the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit said: “We are committed to helping victims of all types of exploitation.

“In this case, the suspected victims were a number of foreign national men who were employed on a fishing vessel.

“While circumstances may vary, the common factor is exploitation.

“Victims are controlled – whether by physical or emotional threats or the removal of identity documents, such as passports – and made to work with little or no payment for their efforts.

“This is unfortunately often an unseen crime, as victims are afraid to speak out. 

“And, where individuals are trafficked from overseas, there are often language barriers preventing them from communicating with police or others who could help. 

“I’m asking everyone to be our eyes and ears, and to help stop this unacceptable crime.”

Police are asking anyone with information or concerns to contact them on 101, in an emergency 999; or call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700. 

Take a look at the Human Trafficking page on the Police Service’s website for information on tell-tale signs to look out for. 

Officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit also work closely with a range of further partners.

They include the Department of Justice, An Garda Síochána, National Crime Agency, Public Prosecution Service, and fellow members of the Organised Crime Task Force. 

Many local charities also play a vital role in assisting and supporting victims to rebuild their lives.

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