Ioan Lacatus, originally from Romania , human trafficking accused refused bail

A man arrested when police rescued 20 people “from slavery” last month has been refused bail due to fears he would flee Northern Ireland.

Ioan Lacatus, originally from Romania but with an address at Hanover Street, Portadown, faces human trafficking and forced labour charges.

He is also charged with acting as an unlicensed gang-master.

The alleged victims, all Romanian, were found at two locations during a labour exploitation investigation.

A detective constable told Craigavon Magistrates Court how officers “identified and rescued from slavery” a total of 20 people during last month’s operation.

The court heard that in addition to these allegedly trafficked victims, there are a further 20 Romanians living at Mr Lacatus’ Portadown home -who may be victims as well.

Police objected to the 31-year-old defendant’s bail application, citing fears that he would reoffend, flee the jurisdiction and interfere with witnesses.

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