Rugby man to stand trial over human trafficking charges and alleged use of slave labour

Ermal Lushaj
Ermal Lushaj

A man is to stand trial later this year over human trafficking charges and the alleged use of slave labour at a Rugby hand car wash.

Ermal Lushaj pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to four charges of holding people ‘in slavery or servitude’ on dates between October 16 and November 28 last year.

Lushaj (33) of Abbey Street, Rugby, also pleaded not guilty to arranging or facilitating the travel of the four people with a view to their exploitation.

In addition Lushaj, who entered his pleas with the aid of an Albanian interpreter, denied assaulting one of his alleged victims by beating.

The charges, brought under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, follow police raids at Lushaj’s home and at a hand car wash in Rugby where it is said the alleged victims had been put to work.

Judge Andrew Lockhart QC adjourned the case for trial at the end of July, and Lushaj was granted bail until then.