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Two charged with slavery, fraud and money laundering offences after arrests in Cambridge and Cambourne

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Two people have been charged with modern slavery, fraud and money laundering offences.

Police made arrests in Cambridge and Cambourne
Police made arrests in Cambridge and Cambourne

Officers arrested a man and a woman on Tuesday (July 14) in Cambourne and Cambridge.

Ernest Drevenak, 41, of Howard Avenue, Bedford, has been charged with five counts of holding a person in slavery or servitude, five counts of arranging or facilitating travel of another person with a view to exploitation, one count of money laundering and one count of fraud by false representation.

Veronika Bubencikova, 42, of Handley Drive, Upper Cambourne, faces the same 12 charges.

said the offences are alleged to have taken place over five years between 2014 and 2019, and involved five different alleged victims.

Drevenak and Bubencikova have been released on conditional bail until their first court appearance, which is due to take place at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 25 September.

Any concerns surrounding modern slavery, trafficking and exploitation can be reported to police via www.cambs.police.uk/report or by calling 101.

Warning signs for modern slavery can include people:

  • not being able to come and go as they wish
  • being under 18 and providing commercial sex acts
  • working in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp/manager
  • being unpaid or paid very little
  • working excessively long or unusual hours
  • not being allowed breaks or suffers restrictions at work
  • owing a large debt and is unable to pay it off
  • being recruited through false promises
  • having high security measures at their place of work and/or living locations e.g. opaque windows.

More information can be found on the force’s dedicated web page at www.cambs.police.uk/modernslavery.

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