Story By: Marija Stojkoska, Sub-Editor: Alex Cope, Agency: Real Press
This Italian teenager who says he was kidnapped and forced to work in a Norfolk cannabis factory before being arrested during a police raid is to sue British cops for wrongful arrest.
Leonardo Motera, 19, came to the UK looking for a job in the construction industry and says he was tricked into applying for a job interview at a cannabis factory on a Norfolk industrial estate.
According to local newspaper Provincia Granda, Motera’s lawyer claimed that the teenager was forced to be “a slave”, detained by the gang who produced cannabis and then forced against his will to work for them.
He said he had moved to England and started working in a construction company in January 2018. After the construction site was closed, he started looking for a new job and had been speaking to a “man with a Turkish accent”.
He then agreed to go to a job appointment outside the city at the end of June 2019 and duly turned up at an industrial unit off Norwich Road in Lenwade, where the cannabis plantation was.
This is when his telephone was confiscated and he was reportedly forced to work for the gang as a slave, until the police raided the industrial unit and discovered 1,000 cannabis plants, worth around 1 million GBP on 16th July 2019.
Among the nine people arrested was also Motera.
According to Cuneo24, Motera, after the initial detention, he was released but forced to wear an electronic ankle bracelet and his movement outside the house was regulated from 6 am to 7 pm.
Under those circumstances he could neither find a job because of the conditions nor could he leave England to return home to Mondovi.
But instead, he was arrested and held in custody together with eight others on suspicion of being part of the gang. All nine were charged and according to a press statement by Norfolk police, six were later convicted at Norwich Crown Court on charges of producing cannabis. (https://bit.ly/2PoNrOM)
However according to the press release, two others that were arrested had “no further action taken against them”.
Norfolk Constabulary were not available for comment yesterday on whether Leonardo Motera was one of those two, or whether he was the ninth person about which no information was given in the press release.
But it is known that Leonardo is now back in Mondovi, a comune in Piedmont, in northern Italy, where he has been reunited with his family.
According to Provincia Granda, Motera intends to sue the British justice system through the European Court of Human Rights, as he believes he was not responsible for what he was detained for.
Local newspaper Provincia Granda report his appeal will be for “unjust detention” and for “his right for freedom, which has been compromised”.
According to Provincia Granda, Motera and his family are determined to take this to the highest court in order to obtain justice for the teenager.
It is unclear if Motera plans to appeal for the gang to be further punished for the crimes committed against him.
Those convicted were: Mevlan Cena, 23, of no fixed address, who was sentenced to two years and two months in prison, Potja Shpresim, 22, of no fixed address who was sentenced to two years in prison, Ali Yilmaz, 54, of Montagu Road, Edmonton, London who was sentenced to two years and four months in prison, Zafer Kinik, 54, of Penn Road, London who was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison, Dat Tran, 24, of no fixed address who was sentenced to two years and three months in prison, and Kien Le, 27, of no fixed address who was sentenced to two years and two months in prison.
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