A gangmaster who exploited dozens of vulnerable workers by controlling their wages and housing them in sub-standard accommodation has been deported from the UK.
Alexander Goran, 31, was jailed for three-and-a-half years in December 2019 after pleading guilty to acting as an unlicensed gangmaster and conspiring to commit fraud by abuse of position.
After spending almost seven months in prison in the UK, he has now been deported to serve the rest of his sentence in his native Romania.
Goran exploited at least 41 workers in the Merseyside area over an 18-month period in 2016 and 2017, even giving some of them false identities so that they could work two separate shifts at a food processing factory in Greater Manchester.
His crimes were described by the judge sentencing him as “sophisticated and well-organised offending”.
Goran was arrested as part of a multi-agency strike day organised by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) in Liverpool in March 2018.
GLAA officers also removed the victims from the properties as part of Operation Brewer, taking them to a reception centre to be safeguarded. Since then, the victims have received ongoing support from the British Red Cross and Liverpool-based City Hearts charity.
Goran initially attempted to evade justice by fleeing to Spain but was transported back to the UK in August 2019 on a European Arrest Warrant by Merseyside Police with the help of the Spanish authorities.
GLAA Senior Investigating Officer Martin Plimmer said: “Goran ruthlessly exploited some of the most vulnerable members of society for his own personal gain, displaying a complete contempt for the law and our licensing regime.
“We hope that he will use the remaining time he has in prison to reflect on the harm that he has caused to his victims and seek to build a responsible, law-abiding life for himself once he is released.
“Investigations like this are proof that we will deliver real life-changing results for victims who are exploited for their labour. I would once again like to pay tribute to the three victims who bravely came forward to share their experiences with us.
“Without their courage, the task of investigating criminals such as Goran and his accomplices is far more challenging.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Let this deportation be a warning to callous criminals who force innocent people into a life of exploitation that they will not get away with their crimes.”