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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Lithuanian Edikas Mankevicius is still outstanding in Kent Police's human trafficking investigation in the Maidstone area

14 January 2014
by Angela Cole

Edikas Mankevicius from Lithuania

Edikas Mankevicius from Lithuania

This is the man police are still hunting more than a year after they carried out a series of raids around Maidstone as part of a massive investigation into alleged human trafficking.

Kent Police have confirmed that Lithuanian Edikas Mankevicius is the man who remains outstanding in their operation which led to a Linton couple being arrested in a dramatic dawn raid in October 2012.

Darrell and Jackie Houghton, who who ran a chicken-catching business and always maintained their innocence, being arrested in a dramatic dawn raid on their home in October 2012 but who were eventually released without charge.

Officers admitted they were still looking for Mr Mankevicius, after his identity was revealed in the Daily Mail last week.

The national newspaper alleged that Mr Mankevicius, who is in his 40s, had been in charge of the treatment of the workers, keeping them in squalid conditions and subjecting them to beatings.

Thirty people were put into the care of the Salvation Army at the time of the raids, which were carried out in conjunction with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
Mr and Mrs Houghton, whose business was at the centre of the investigation, spoke to the Kent Messenger last year about their 10-month ordeal. None of the allegations against them resulted in any charge.
The licensing authority revoked their casual labour permit, which they have appealed against.

DI Keith Roberts said: “We would very much like to speak to Edikas Mankevicius regarding the alleged exploitation of workers. We would urge him or anyone who knows of his whereabouts to get in touch with Kent Police.”

A spokesman added that the investigation was still active and officers remained in consultation with the CPS. 

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