Four due in British court on slavery charges

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Four men charged with slavery offences after British police freed 24 men from a Travellers' caravan site in England, were due in court Tuesday.

The accused, all from the same family, were to appear before Luton Magistrates' Court charged with conspiring to holding a person in servitude and requiring them to perform forced labour.

They are Tommy Connors, 30, Patrick Connors, 19, James (Big Jim) Connors, 34, and James (Jimmy) Connors, 23, all from Green Acres caravan site outside Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, northwest of London.

"These charges relate to four victims who allege they have been held against their will and forced to live and work like slaves," said Adrian Roberts of the Crown Prosecution Service.

Police were continuing to investigate other possible offences relating to other potential victims, he added.

More than 200 police officers entered the caravan site and arrested four men and one woman on Sunday, in a major operation that followed months of investigation.

The woman, who is heavily pregnant, was released on bail Monday. She will be questioned once she has given birth, Bedfordshire Police said.

Detectives are looking for two further suspects.

© 2011 AFP

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