It follows the arrest of five people suspected of exploiting Indian students working in Welsh care homes between December 2021 and May 2022.
The defendants – Mathew Issac, 32, Jinu Cherian, 30, Eldhose Cherian, 25, Eldhose Kuriachan, 25, Jacob Liju, 47 – are all from India but now live in Abergele and Pwllheli in North Wales.
Some worked in care homes in the regions themselves, while others were connected through family members working in the residences. According to authorities, Issac and Cherian also supplied workers through a recruitment agency.
The company was reported to the Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline for improperly paying Indian workers or withholding wages. According to the Gangmasters and Labor Abuse Authority, concerns were also raised about the appearance of the workers and that they “always looked like they were hungry”.
All students identified as victims have now been offered support by the GLAA. Indian High Commission in Great Britain he said on Twitter he was “concerned” by the news and urged affected students to contact the organization for support.
The five defendants, who were arrested between December 2021 and May 2022, were given slavery and people-trafficking orders, which prevent them from arranging travel to or from the UK and renting or subletting property to anyone other than immediate family members. No criminal charges have yet been filed.
Last year in Great Britain universities raised concerns on the growing number of international students leaving courses to work in care homes – an industry facing severe staff shortages.
PIE news he found advertisements on social media encouraging international students to switch from student visas to skilled worker visas to allow them to work in the industry.
“Where there is a labor shortage, there is an increased risk of opportunists exploiting the situation for their own financial gain”
GLAA Senior Investigating Officer Martin Plimmer said: “We are all aware that staff numbers in the care sector have been a concern for some time and the Covid-19 pandemic has not helped.
“Unfortunately, where labor shortages exist, there is an increased risk of opportunists exploiting the situation for their own financial gain, usually at the expense of the workers they exploit.
“Combating the exploitation of care home workers is one of the GLAA’s top priorities and this order is essential to curbing the activities of those we suspect would otherwise be committing slavery or human trafficking offences.”