Operation Purple Barracuda

Weapons seized and 'slaves' released in Cardiff raids

Great news about a hugely successful police operation in Cardiff earlier this week, in which 13 victims of 'forced labour' were rescued:

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Swords, machetes and a handgun were seized during Wednesday's operation targeting traveller sites in Cardiff, police said.

Protecting 13 people from forced labour was a "critical element" of the raids.

More than 250 officers and staff swooped on New House Farm, the Shirenewton caravan site and a house in Rumney on Wednesday, making 20 arrests.

The operation by South Wale Police targeted organised criminality in the traveller community.

Of the 13 people who were found in separate caravans at one of the locations, eight were Polish, three were Romanian and two were British.

The oldest person was 56 and the youngest was 23.

Ch Supt Belinda Davies said: "One of the most critical elements was the protection of British and foreign nationals from forced labour and poor working conditions."

"Thirteen people who were found in various addresses were taken to a specialist reception centre where support is now being offered," she added.

On Wednesday morning, 20 people were arrested for offences, including suspected forced labour, money laundering, theft and large scale abstraction of electricity.

Among the items seized by police were luxury cars including a Ferrari and Range Rover, weapons and a substantial amount of cash.

The action in the Rumney and St Mellons areas of the city was called Operation Purple Barracuda.

It represented the latest phase of Operation Fulcrum, aimed at keeping communities across Cardiff safe.

The full article, including video footage of the operation, can be found here.