LONDON -- Seven people were arrested following a series of raids targeting a slavery ring in Wales, police said.
One of the alleged victims vanished about 13 years ago while on holiday in a seaside town.
The anti-slavery investigation began when the 43-year-old man was discovered living in dire conditions with missing teeth and torn clothes at a farm near Newport, Wales.
Hundreds of police officers swooped on four addresses, including the farm, Gwent Police said.
Seven arrests were made and officers and recovered another two potential victims -- a 60-year-old British man and a male believed to be Polish whose age is unknown. Both alleged victims were having their health assessed by the Red Cross.
A backhoe was being used to to search for a body that investigators believe may be buried in a compost heap at the farm.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Chief Inspector Huw Nicholas described the case as "unprecedented."
He added: “We don't know what we're going to find or what's going to come to light.”
The allegations have shocked people living in the relatively rural area.
Cath Whatley, housekeeper at the Inn at the Elm Tree pub, told the BBC: “Everybody is talking about it and wanting to know what's gone on. They are stunned, I would say. It's very scary. You can't imagine slavery going on in this day and age in Wales.”
Thomas Doran, 36, Daniel Doran, 66, and David Daniel Doran, 42, who were arrested on Monday have been charged with false imprisonment, conspiracy to hold a person in servitude, and conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labor. Thomas Doran has also been charged with kidnapping.
All three were due to appear in court on Thursday.
The four other people arrested have been released on bail as the investigation continues.
First published September 26 2013, 5:06 AM