Nanda’s story

Nanda* is from Vietnam. He fled the country, fearing reprisals from the police for his involvement in political protests.

A friend put him in touch with an agency that arranged work overseas. The agency told Nanda that they would lend him money to travel to Russia where he could work in construction and pay off the debt within two years. Nanda agreed and the agency arranged his flight.

In Russia, Nanda was made to get into a container truck. Once in the truck, Nanda and eight others were transported to the UK. The journey was excruciating. They were given no food or water and all nine were forced to crouch behind a fake wall to avoid customs searches. 

On arrival in the UK, Nanda was locked in a house where he was shown how to cultivate cannabis. The conditions were squalid – Nanda slept on a mattress under the stairs, was told that if he tried to leave he would be killed and was only given bread and water to eat and drink. 

After a while, Nanda became very ill and began coughing blood. The traffickers said he was trying to trick them and beat him so badly they thought he was dead. He was thrown out onto the streets. 

Thankfully, Nanda was able to find help and was brought to a Medaille Trust safe house. In the safety of our services he has received care and support to help rebuild his life. Nanda says that he appreciates all the support provided to him and that Medaille staff are being very helpful, which helps him to feel much better. Scared of his traffickers back in Vietnam, Nanda hopes to stay in the UK. He dreams of becoming a chef, getting married and starting a family.

*name changed for security reasons

Vietnamese men in the construction industry

RENATE COATNET National Crime Agency Look up Member caritas Modern Slavery Partnership