Gangmaster who supplied horticultural workers in Lincolnshire is sentenced for having no license

A Cambridgeshire-based gangmaster has been sentenced for operating as a gangmaster without a licence.

Ian Cooper - who at the time of the offence was running the High Street agency Swift Recruitment (Eastern) Limited in Wisbech - was sentenced to pay a £300 fine 15 April 2010 at Peterborough Magistrates Court.

Cooper did not renew his Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) license in May 2009 – and was found to be still supplying workers to the horticultural industry in Boston and Spalding in Lincolnshire on 28 July 2009.

Two horticultural companies -Boaflora in Spalding and Intergreen UK - were cautioned for using unlicensed labour, but the decision was taken not to prosecute them.

If they are found to be using an unlicensed gangmaster again, there would be an increased likelihood of prosecution.

GLA chairman Paul Whitehouse said: "Mr Cooper was aware he was trading without a licence, and continued to do so. The GLA notesall businesses that have not renewed their licence and never assumes they have simply stopped trading or stopped trading in our regulated sectors.

"Whilst it may have not been in the public interest to prosecute the horticultural businesses, this time. We have already prosecuted one farmer for using unlicensed labour and would not hesitate to do so again in the right circumstances."

Meanwhile the GLA has also revoked the licence of a Boston-based gangmaster after finding an astonishing lack of paperwork and a lack of basic knowledge of how to run the business.

Shane Amos the Director of YF Recruitment failed the Principal Authority competence test and was declared not fit and proper to hold a licence.

To be granted a GLA licence all businesses must meet the GLA licensing Standards and the gangmaster must meet fit and proper person criteria.



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