Suspects in traveller site immigration case bailed

Five men arrested on suspicion of immigration offences against seven people at a traveller site in Codicote on Friday have been bailed.

Police released the men aged 29, 35, 36, 57, and 59 while investigations continue into suspected immigration and proceeds of crime offences at the Pulmer Water site. Herts Police said they are also following a line of enquiry into suspected fraud.

Officers are treating one man found at the site as a potential victim of crime and are working with partner agencies to find him alternative accommodation.

Four Chinese nationals also found at the site are no longer being treated as victims of crime. Herts Police said they are liaising with the UK Border Agency regarding alleged immigration offences relating to two of them.

Two other men initially treated as possible victims of crime have been dropped from the investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Rodenhurst, who is leading the investigation, said: “Our enquiries are still ongoing to establish what offences may have taken place but we are now in a clearer position to say that we do not believe any slavery or servitude offences have taken place and that our investigation is very different to the one that is currently ongoing in Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire.”

The suspects have been ordered to return to a Herts police station at the end of October.