27 Jul 2021
A court has granted a Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order (STRO) to prevent a man and woman from trafficking and exploiting vulnerable workers.
Mansfield Magistrates’ Court initially handed Dragos Istrate, 26, and Denisa Hoamea, 23, an interim STRO in February 2021 following investigations by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).
The order has now been upgraded to a full STRO after a hearing at the same court on Monday July 26.
Istrate and Hoamea must follow all the conditions listed in the STRO or face criminal prosecution.
Both have been ordered to not interfere with due process by approaching potential victims or witnesses with the aim of getting them to change their testimonies.
The pair must not arrange travel or transport into or within the UK for anyone other than their immediate family. They are also prevented from arranging work travel or transport for anyone other than immediate family members.
Similarly, Istrate and Hoamea must not rent or sublet any accommodation to anyone other than immediate family.
Both must inform the GLAA of any change of address and allow access for officers to check that the order is being complied with.
They must equally not engage or coerce anyone else into carrying out any of the instructions listed above on their behalf.
Istrate and Hoamea, both formerly of Carter Lane, Mansfield, have recently returned to their native Romania and were not present at the hearing.
The STRO will remain in place until further notice. Breaching the order is a criminal offence carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
GLAA Senior Investigating Officer Dave Powell said: “Protecting vulnerable workers is at the heart of what we do at the GLAA and STROs are another effective tool allowing us to monitor the activity of individuals so any breaches are detected and addressed accordingly.
“We were especially pleased that the magistrates recognised the severity of the allegations through the evidence we presented to them.
“By granting the STRO until further order, in effect meaning it is indefinite, we believe this sends a clear message that exploitation of vulnerable workers will not be tolerated. This is the maximum length of time an STRO can be imposed on suspects, and is longer than we applied for on the order.
“Our officers are working tirelessly across Nottinghamshire and the rest of the UK to keep our communities safe from labour abuse. But we also need your help in spotting the signs of exploitation and reporting concerns.”
If you believe someone is a victim of forced labour or other labour exploitation, contact the GLAA’s intelligence team on 0800 4320804 or by emailing email@example.com.
Alternatively, call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.