A British man rescued from modern “slavery” during a raid on Wednesday is thought to have lived in a six-foot shed where he was forced to work without pay for 40 years, The Guardian reported.
Specialist officers were alerted to the situation through an anonymous call and discovered the 58-year-old man in the structure north of Carlisle in Cumbria.
Officers from the Gangmasters and Labor Abuse Authority believe the unidentified man may have been a victim to modern day slavery and have arrested a 79-year-old suspect.
“When we found him he was like a rabbit in headlights and very confused,” said Martin Plimmer from the GLAA, according to the BBC News. “He was just in the clothes he stood up in and where he was sleeping in the shed there was just a soiled duvet on the floor.”
The victim was taken to be medically examined by specialist trauma officers, The Guardian noted.
“He has been traumatized for such a length of time that it will be a slow process to win back his trust," Plimmer said, according to the BBC. “In my long career I've never come across anyone who has been held as a slave potentially for 40 years and this, I think, could be the longest period of captivity that we have dealt with.”
Modern slavery can take on many forms, from forced labor to sex trafficking and domestic servitude, the U.S. State Department noted.
The Global Slavery Index 2018 found that in 2016 there were 403,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the U.S.
According to the report, there were 783 active criminal and civil human trafficking cases in 2017 involving 1,930 defendants. Approximately 89 percent of these cases were criminal cases and 11 percent were civil suits.
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