Towy Valley farmworker charged with kidnap

South Wales Guardian: HEARING: Four Latvian farmworkers have been charged with kidnap and assault. HEARING: Four Latvian farmworkers have been charged with kidnap and assault.

A Latvian farmworker currently living in the Towy Valley has appeared before magistrates accused of kidnapping.

Armands Nikiforovs, whose address was given as Glanrhyd Saeson in Manordeilo, was one of four men charged with the kidnap and assault of Slawomir Jan Balcerek on December 2, 2013.

All the defendants are Latvian nationals working in south-west Wales as farm labourers.

Nikiforovs, aged 21, was said to have been living and working at Werngogan Farm, Llangunnog, at the time of the alleged incident.

Guntis Galdins, aged 53, currently of St David’s Street in Carmarthen lived at Penyclun Farm, Llangunnog, while 27-year-old Juris Udrins was based at the time at Churchill Farm, Haverfordwest.

The fourth man – 36-year-old Aleksandrs Turcans – was living and working at Wauncrogau Farm, Llangunnor.

Prosecutor Sian Vaughan warned Llanelli magistrates of the seriousness of the allegations.

“This matter is indictable only,” said Ms Vaughan. “It must be sent to Swansea Crown Court.”

Ms Vaughan also urged magistrates to withhold the passports of Nikiforovs and Udrins, both of whom had told police of their intention to return to Latvia for a holiday.

Andrew Isaacs, representing Nikiforovs, told the court that the 21-year-old had highlighted his plans of returning to Latvia for a fortnight to ensure he was not out of the country at the time of any court hearings.

“He was just concerned that the court hearing would be scheduled to take place then,” said Mr Isaacs.

“He has been completely up front, but the police have jumped before the horse has bolted.”

Nikiforovs, Turcans and Galdins were granted bail with Nikiforovs and Udrins ordered to surrender their passports.

Udrins, who also faces an allegation of drink-driving on the day of the alleged kidnap, was remanded in custody.

No pleas were entered to any of the charges.

All four will appear at Swansea Crown Court on June 13 for a plea and case management hearing.

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