Shropshire Star

Man admits modern slavery offences linked to enforced labour of teenage girls at nail bars in the Midlands

A man wanted in connection with exploitation and enforced labour at nail bars in the Midlands and the South West has pleaded guilty to modern slavery offences.

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Van Than Nguyen, 32, also known as ‘Jimmy’, was wanted for conspiring to move the four teenage Vietnamese girls – one who was a missing person – throughout the UK to work in nail bars.

The operation was led by detectives from Staffordshire Police.

Nguyen, of Brazil Street, Hull, pleaded guilty to conspiring to require another person to perform forced, compulsory labour and acquire, use, or possess criminal property at Stafford Crown Court on Friday.

Mobile phone analysis showed that one of the victims, who had gone missing from care in February 2016, had contact with and met Nguyen on March, 6 2016. The next day, the victim travelled to Burton-on-Trent.

He was arrested on January 30, 2017 and was bailed pending further enquiries. On 1 February, he failed to appear at Hanley police station in line with his bail conditions.

Following an extensive investigation, Nguyen was arrested by officers from Staffordshire Police at his home address in Hull, Humberside, on November 18 2021 and charged the same day.

Detective Inspector Neil Poultney, of CID South, said: “In this case, young and vulnerable women were exploited for labour purposes purely for financial gain.

“We are committed to working with our partners to conduct thorough investigations to identify those responsible and protect vulnerable victims from harm. This conviction demonstrates that.”

Superintendent Clair Langley, of Staffordshire Police, said: “I’d like to thank all of proactive and reactive investigation teams across the six regional forces involved for the dedication and tenacity in bringing this offender to justice. It shows the commitment to pursuing offenders involved in modern slavery offences and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to protect vulnerable people.

Nguyen is due to be sentenced on March 17 at Stafford Crown Court.

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