It was a daring and audacious rescue mission. Upon its success rested the freedom, perhaps even the lives, of up to 45 men locked into a back-breaking life of slavery and forced to live in the most appallingly squalid conditions.
An unlikely squad of former policemen and soldiers working for the charity Hope For Justice – whose mission is to end human trafficking – had uncovered their plight.
And after weeks of detective work and meticulous planning, they were determined to free them.
The team had been tipped off about a suspected trafficking ring centred on the bed-making firm Kozee Sleep in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.