Police are searching for two victims of human trafficking who have been missing in the South West for a month.
The Southwest Regional Organised Crime Unit, known as Zephyr, has issued an appeal for witnesses in relation to the safeguarding of the two boys, both from Vietnam.
Tang Chien Dang and Thang Vu Tan were identified as ‘gardeners’ during the course of an extensive people trafficking investigation, Operation Astoria.
Both were kept in ‘appaling conditions’ according to a report on court proceedings which saw six defendants convicted of their role in the conspiracies to produce millions of pounds worth of Cannabis across the South West.
Tang Chien Dang was the gardener at a cannabis factory in the Swindon area.
Police discovered 302 cannabis plants when they raided the property at Whittingham Drive, Wroughton last February. They also found that Tan, whom police believe is “slightly older” than 15, was kept in “dangerous and degrading” conditions.
Tan and Dang were found to be victims of human trafficking during the course of the police investigation and no criminal proceedings were brought against them.
Both young men were placed into the care of the Social Services and have subsequently gone missing from their respective locations within the South West Region.
A/Det Insp Nick Eckland, the Senior Investigation Officer of Operation Astoria said “I would appeal to the Vietnamese communities of the South West and beyond to come forward and identify the whereabouts of these two young victims. It is important that we can find them to make sure they are safe and free from re-exploitation in the future”
Both young men were known to have further links to London and Scotland.
“Human Trafficking and Modern day slavery are extremely high on our agenda across the region, we are absolutely committed to working with our partners to ensure that victims are safeguarded against and offenders are brought to justice. Operation Astoria was seen a series of significant convictions but we do not rest on our laurels, we now work with our Criminal Finance Team to strip these defendants of their assets, we work with the Courts and the Crown Prosecution Service to consider Anti-Slavery Orders against those offenders who sit right at the very top of this criminal network, and where we identify that an individual is here illegally for the sole purpose of committing serious and organised crime, working with the Immigration Service, we’ll deport them.”
Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Tang Chien DANG and Thang Vu TAN or in relation to human trafficking and modern slavery offences can phone 101 or crime stoppers on 0800 555111 anonymously or via https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online/