Charity and police break up UK’s largest modern slavery ring

break up

The UK’s largest modern slavery ring, which forced more than 400 people to work for a pittance while their criminal masters earned £2m, has been smashed. A three-year police investigation uncovered an organised criminal gang led by the Brzezinski family, which preyed on homeless people, ex-prisoners and alcoholics from Poland.

The ring lured and then trafficked vulnerable people to the UK with the promise of good money, but instead housed them in squalor and used them as what a judge described as “commodities”. Victims were paid as little as 50p for a day’s labour and in one case a worker was given coffee and a chicken as payment for redecorating a house. Another man had to wash in a canal because he had no other access to water, while one house was so rundown that a leaking toilet had to be plugged with a duvet. One victim said: “I would say some homeless people here in the UK live better than I lived after I arrived over here.”

Hungry victims went to soup kitchens and food banks and many made their own cigarettes from butts off the street. Meanwhile, the gang’s bosses wore lavish clothes and drove luxury cars, including a Bentley.After the end of two trials, it can now be reported how five men and three women, all originally from Poland and all convicted of modern slavery offences and money-laundering, exploited their destitute victims for “greed”.(theguardian)…[+]