Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority Teams with Cellebrite to Combat Labour Exploitation
UK’s modern slavery watchdog agency brings exploiters of
vulnerable workers to justice using Digital Intelligence solutions
PETAH TIKVA, ISRAEL, TYSONS CORNER, VA and NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – November 21, 2022 – Cellebrite DI Ltd. (Nasdaq: CLBT), a global leader in Digital Intelligence (DI) solutions for the public and private sectors, announced a closed case with the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) which brought justice to individuals and businesses that force manual labour.
When the agency expanded its mission to cover the entire labour market and strengthened its enforcement powers, a digital forensics lab of their own became a must. To launch their lab, GLAA investigative officers, Richard Shrimpton and Tom Frost, chose Cellebrite mobile forensics collect and review solutions for digital data examination, evidence gathering, and digital data collection.
The new digital forensics lab highlighted GLAA’s digital transformation in a case that went to court in mid-2022. In 2018, a GLAA investigator received a call from a licensed labour provider concerned about a person working at a factory in Wales. The person, who was from Eastern Europe, told GLAA’s southwestern investigators that work was promised in a local bakery, along with suitable housing.
Instead, the exploiter placed the victim with exploiters who prevented showers, made threats to the victim, and charged double the rent initially quoted. When the victim began working in the factory, the £500 weekly salary was paid almost entirely into an account run by the exploiters, leaving the victim with an occasional £20 to live on.
Using Cellebrite’s collect & review solutions, the investigators found photos of the victim on the exploiters’ phones, along with images of the victim’s passport. The images would have been used to open bank accounts in the exploiters’ names. Investigators also found evidence that one of the exploiters was using the victim’s email address and pretending to be the victim. The three exploiters were found guilty of modern slavery offenses in August 2022. The exploiters were convicted of modern slavery offences following a four-week trial at Newport Crown Court in July and August this year, with sentences of five years, four years, and 20 months, respectively.
“Cellebrite is perfect for these scenarios,” Shrimpton says. “We work with a lot of vulnerable people and potential victims – we want to look at their devices, but we don’t want to take their phones away from them. We can even go to a local police station and ask for a room where we can do the extraction.”
Frost added, “The digital forensics department has grown bigger than anyone expected it would, and it’s just going to get bigger as we see more cases of forced labour.”
The good news is that by having its own lab, the benefits to GLAA will only increase as the department grows.
“We used to have cases that closed down because we just didn’t have the information that we needed to make a case,” Shrimpton says. “Now, for every conviction in every court case we’ve had since we opened our lab, digital forensics has played a big part in the prosecution.”
About Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority works in partnership to protect vulnerable and exploited workers. The agency investigates reports of worker exploitation and illegal activity such as human trafficking, forced labor and illegal labor provision, as well as offences under the National Minimum Wage and Employment Agencies Acts.
It works with partner organisations such as the police, the National Crime Agency and other government law enforcement agencies to target, dismantle and disrupt serious and organised crime across the UK. The authority also regulates businesses which provide workers to the fresh produce supply chain and horticulture industry, to make sure they meet the employment standards required by law.
Cellebrite’s (NASDAQ: CLBT) mission is to enable its customers to protect and save lives, accelerate justice, and preserve privacy in communities around the world. We are a global leader in Digital Intelligence solutions for the public and private sectors, empowering organizations in mastering the complexities of legally sanctioned digital investigations by streamlining intelligence processes. Trusted by thousands of leading agencies and companies worldwide, Cellebrite’s Digital Intelligence platform and solutions transform how customers collect, review, analyze and manage data in legally sanctioned investigations. To learn more visit us at www.cellebrite.com, https://investors.cellebrite.com, or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Cellebrite_UFED.
Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority Media
Public Relations and Corporate Communications Director