Posted on 21st March 2018
A tenth person has been charged as part of a large-scale modern slavery investigation, following his extradition from Latvia.
Andris Krauklis (39) was arrested in Latvia on February 20 as part of an investigation into modern slavery and human trafficking offences that span the UK and Latvia. Four arrests were made in Latvia that day and one in Derby. Mr Krauklis was extradited to the UK yesterday (March 20) when he was charged with conspiracy to commit slavery, trafficking and exploitation.
Today he appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court, where he was remanded into custody and is now awaiting trial.
The first wave of arrests under Operation Doubrava came in September last year during a large-scale enforcement when officers executed warrants at houses in Rutland Street, St James Road, Balaclava Road and Patmore Square. As a result of these raids, Ainars Pelcis (54) of Rutland Street, Ilgvars Pelcis (32) of St James Road, Karlis Aleksandrovs (41) of Patmore Square, Magdalena Kleina (55) of Rutland Street and Jolanta Pelce (36) of Patmore Square were arrested, charged and remanded into custody. Ten suspected victims were found during these warrants and were subsequently safeguarded.
This was followed by last month’s joint enforcement activity in Latvia and Derby, during which Andris Krauklis, Madara Stromane (23) and Imitra Didzus (33), were arrested in Latvia. Jana Pelce (32) of St James’ Road, Normanton, was arrested in Derby as part of the same operation. In the garden of one of the Latvian houses, a man in his 60s was found living in a shack. Officers believe him to be a victim of modern slavery and he is being supported by the Latvian authorities.
As part of the same investigation, Mareks Kaira (25) was arrested by South Yorkshire Police upon entering the UK at Doncaster airport in October. He was later charged and remanded by Derbyshire Constabulary.
Detective Sergeant Carl Chetwyn said: “Having left the UK in September 2017 - very shortly after the enforcement activity in Derby - Derbyshire Constabulary and the State Police of Latvia have worked in collaboration to trace Mr Krauklis and bring him back to the UK to face these charges.
“This is a clear demonstration of our commitment to tackle this type of crime and to protect some of the most vulnerable victims within our society.”