Ten year slavery order imposed by court on Palm Bay Car Wash owner

The Palm Bay Car Wash on Northdown Road in Cliftonville, must follow all the restrictions within the slavery order in place until October.

The owner of a Cliftonville hand car wash has had a 10-year slavery order imposed on him by court.

Margate Magistrates’ Court approved the application for a full Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order (STRO) against Genc Gjocaj at a hearing on Thursday October 6.

Gjocaj, of Elmwood Court, Battersea Park Road, London, had previously been handed an interim STRO by the same court in July this year.

Officers from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and Kent Police visited The Palm Bay Car Wash owned by Gjocaj earlier this year. The Palm Bay Car Wash is not associated with Palm Bay MOT Service Centre which is an entirely separate business.

Concerns had been identified about the car wash on Northdown Road in Cliftonville in relation to the absence of protective equipment, contracts and payslips for the workers.

There was also no evidence of any record keeping relating to tax and the hours worked by Gjocaj’s employees.

The order prevents the 50-year-old from recruiting anyone with no legal status in the UK and anyone who does not have a valid National Insurance number.

Gjocaj must keep full written records of all his employees and their employment, which must be provided to officers upon request.

He must pay his workers at least the National Minimum Wage and provide wage slips and contracts to them in their own language.

The order forces Gjocaj to allow officers to inspect conditions at the car wash and speak to the workers during business hours. He must also provide written confirmation of any changes in ownership of the car wash or any other owned or controlled by him to the GLAA.

Gjocaj must register with Companies House and pay business rates to the local authority, meaning he must pay tax and National Insurance and accurately record the working hours of his employees.

GLAA Senior Investigating Officer Jen Baines said: “We were pleased to see that the order has been upgraded and will now be in place until 2032. This is really important in providing additional safeguards to protect vulnerable workers.

“We will robustly enforce the order and respond swiftly and decisively if we identify any breaches.”

Inspector Ian Swallow, of Thanet Community Safety Unit, said: “Kent Police is committed to identifying instances of modern slavery and taking action whenever concerns are raised.

“Through joint working with partner agencies including the GLAA, we are making sure that employers know their responsibilities and people are kept safe at work.”

Breaching a STRO is a criminal offence carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Find out more about how to spot the signs of labour exploitation at hand car washes by listening to this GLAA podcast produced with the Responsible Car Wash Scheme.

If you have concerns that a car wash near you is exploiting its workers, contact the GLAA’s intelligence team by emailing [email protected].uk.

You can also download the Safe Car Wash app developed by the Clewer Initiative and report your concerns there.

Alternatively, call the Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline on 08000 121 700 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


  1. The order prevents the 50-year-old from recruiting anyone with no legal status in the UK and anyone who does not have a valid National Insurance number. The law already prevents this…. The people we let in to this country. Honestly 😡

    • Precisely, what a crock of ………, a cash in hand business that abides by none of the normal rules and basically gets away with it. Whatis the point in anyone actually bothering to try and be honest in life.

      • I love it. You moan about them. Try moaning about fraud at your own council. They dont keep records either and never repair or maintain any of our assets. Worse fraud was ex tory leader lest you forgotten him

    • Next time you’re in one ask where they’re from. You’ll most likely find they are actually Sri Lankan. The SriLankan government used part of the post Tsunami aid money it received (all those years ago) to offer loans to its citizens to buy businesses in other countries. Many corner shops were bought with cash from said loans , it was an easy way of getting into the uk, the flipside is that the repayments onnthe loans means that the “business owners” often qualify for in work benefits. In addition they can use their business status to support visa applications. It’s been a very popular way of getting into the UK and even better investment for the Sri Lankan authorities.

  2. I helped establish the first multi-agency “gang master task force” in London nearly 20 years ago. The curse of the gang masters, or labour providers as the Act disengenuously calls them, can only be tackled by the Councils, Police services, HMRC and other statutory bodies working closely together. Sadly we have a government that won’t invest the money or end the outsourcing practices that encourage the gang masters!

    • True, but even so-we have an individual that has clearly for who knows how long been illegally employing & exploiting people, not following health & safety laws, cheating the Inland Revenue by tax avoidance & yet will not spend a day in jail & is free to carry on trading.

      1. Where is the deterrent not to do it?

      2. Why are these agencies such as HMRC so keen not to investigate/pursue these people & others like the GLAA, the CPS & the courts to pursue & dish out the lightest touch punishment? All of them are as hopeless as the Serious Farce Office have been at dealing with massive fraud cases.

  3. I can’t understand what this means about an order? This is just simply the law? We are all obliged to employ people legitimately and pay our business rates and taxes and the national minimum wage as a standard no?? Stating the obvious or have a I missed something. Abhorrent treatment of these poor people.

    • Yes agreed although the order means there will be regular checks and he could receive a prison sentence for any breach

    • Guess he just claimed his English wasn’t good enough to understand he had to set up a business at Companies House, didn’t know he had to check identities, didn’t know he had to keep documentation of wages paid, didn’t know he had to pay tax, didn’t know there is a minimum wage law, didn’t know he had to follow health & safety laws etc.

    • No better than tdc..

      Ask the trustees where cliftonville precepts have gone since 1972

      Ask tdc about ex tory leader who went to prison for fraud…

  4. So basically this guy has been a gang master, employing people not entitled to be here or working & as such has exploited them illegally & been cheating the HMRC, yet he gets a meaningless slap on the wrist & can carry on as before & will only have any real action taken against him if they can be bothered to go round & check?

    Why are the Inland Revenue apparently not investigating this guy for clear tax evasion? Why is he not in jail for modern slavery? Why is somebody like this allowed to carry on trading-this isn’t a shopkeeper who sold some underage kids booze or fags once, but clearly somebody who has been enslaving people, breaching the health & safety act & has for a long time been defrauding the system by mass cheating on his taxes.

    Perhaps the boastful Mr Swallow & Madam Gaines, along with Kent Police, HMRC etc might care to explain this pathetic punishment & why he is not in prison, not being chased for tax fraud & at the very least still able to trade? Did he just claim his language isn’t good enough to understand anything & they all just accepted it?

    While the government provide a ferry service to bring illegal migrants here in record, despite promising to stamp it out in their leadership campaign & heavily promoted & why most people voted for Brexit far earlier, what exactly is the deterrent to come here or for vermin like this to illegally hire them & exploit them.

    I did think the people online claiming the idea of the Tories is to get as many migrants here as possible to take up minimum wage & even below illegal min wage jobs was a ridiculous conspiracy theory, but after reading this nonsense & seeing how many have arrived this year with a free ride across from the RNLI & the silly deport them to Randa scheme the government know has no chance of working & will not say how many they would deport there anyway, now I am not so sure.

  5. So this is the second order placed on him but yet no jail time, no fines, no seizing of asset, not even a slap on the wrist, no wonder people travel half way round the world to get here illegally, there’s zero deterrent.

  6. Atleast he has been dealt with but who is going to do the regular checks? Thought those partner agencies are short cash & staff.
    Maybe thats why the police helicopter has been flying around west dumpton for the last half hour ~ spy in the sky.

  7. I took our car to the Tesco’s car wash the £8 in coins I had in my glove box to pay parking fees when I need to had all gone. I went back to complain and they got a bit stroppy and denied that they had opened the glove box. In future I will stay in the car like the IMO one at Westwood.

  8. Glad this has been done at last. It has taken a long time. The site is a dirty place without proper drainage, often the washing water goes over the pavement off the site. However if anyone who has relatively easy access to clean water and is not disabled should be able to to clean your own car. It is not rocket science and is far cheaper. I have never ever used a car wash. I simply would not trust my car to be handled by any of the persons who work in one. My question is do you want strangers having total access to your property not knowing their background and may not have any insurance for any damage caused? I am old school and still use a bucket and sponge and shammy leather. No hose pipe either and certainly no pressure washer. DIY is the best clean.

  9. I bet he left the court laughing. How much did all that cost to tell à villan don’t do it again. Now off you go. You have to chuckle to yourself at this .

  10. slavery in thanet ! well thats really takes the biscuit. this place just gets worse, what century is it ?

  11. Presumably this business attracted such attention that even our understaffed and under-resourced public services got involved, accumulated the evidence and successfully prosecuted.
    So, if he tries to do it again, he will know that he is “easy pickings” for any public body wanting to get a quick success in Court. Quite a deterrent, I would think.
    It works like that for other offences. Say, Driving whilst Disqualified.
    Once a driver gets convicted but is allowed to pay a fine and carry on driving, back in the day when we had enough Police Officers, a couple of PCs in a car would park around the corner from the individual’s address at the time he would be going to work and just wait for an easy arrest.
    Of course, this accepts that some people never learn, OR, that we all think that if we were unlucky enough to get caught, it won’t happen again! How could we be so unlucky?
    So, even with our miserably reduced police staff numbers, don’t think that this man has “got away with it”.
    In fact, those with previous convictions are the first to draw Police attention.
    It has often been said that, if you want to commit the perfect crime (no such thing, actually) you must start off completely unknown to the Police, and then, after your perfect crime, do absolutely nothing wrong for the rest of your life!

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