DORSET Police has confirmed that a man arrested over allegations of human trafficking and slave labour has been released without charge.
The warrant was executed at the AA Clock garage in Ringwood Road, Bournemouth, on Wednesday, March 26, and six suspected male victims, aged between 20 and 30, were taken to a place of safety.
A police spokesman said that, following “extensive interviews with the men working there and consultation with other agencies, it was ascertained that the offence of slavery had not taken place”.
As a result, the police will not be pursuing a prosecution and the 23-year-old Bournemouth man arrested on suspicion of the offence has been released from his bail.
Of the six men working at the premises, three chose to return to Romania and were supported in doing so by a national charity specialising in the repatriation of foreign nationals.
As part of the investigation, police have shared information with other government agencies, who are examining other matters in relation to employment law and revenue and customs.
Detective Inspector Stewart Balmer, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, who led the operation, said: “We carried out this operation in relation to genuine community concerns. The people working at the premises were not deemed to be trafficked, however, I am confident we did the right thing by acting on these concerns.
“While they were deemed not to be victims of slavery, there was a working regime in operation that is being reviewed by other agencies.”
The garage reopened the day after the raid and continues to trade.