LONDON (AP) – Information on which prosecutors have called one of Britain's largest ever modern slavery rings has arisen with the conviction of eight people originally from Poland.
Prosecutors say more than 400 victims were forced to work for minimal wages while their masters earned about £ 2 million ($ 2.5 million) and lived a luxurious lifestyle. Reporting restrictions were lifted to make the details public.
The group boasted of the homeless, former judges and alcoholics in Poland and lured them to Britain with false promises of well-paid work. Some ended up being paid less than $ 1 for a day's work and were held in bias.
Five men and three women originally from Poland have been convicted of modern slavery and money laundering.
Lawyers in two separate trials at the Birmingham Crown Court heard testimony from more than 90 victims indicating that at least 350 had been smuggled by the criminal gang.
Victims reported being forced to wash in a canal because they did not have access to freshwater plug leaky toilets with their blankets and sheets, and get food from soup kitchens and food banks because their wages were insufficient.
The group targeted vulnerable people in Poland for recruitment, including newly released prisoners, and placed them in the UK in tight, rat-infected homes. They were put to work on farms, waste disposal centers and poultry factories.
Victims ranged from teenagers to people over the age of 60.
Judge Mary Stacey said at the end of the first attempt that the "degradation" of human traffickers had been "totally unacceptable." She imposed prison sentences of up to 1
She said that the belief that slavery was completed in Britain was not true: "The hard truth is that the exercise continues here in the UK often hides in plain sight."
Police investigation and investigation of charity Hope Justice showed many cases of abuse.
In one case, a man who complained about poor wages and living conditions had broken his arm was not given medical care and then the draft from the homes.
Another was forced to remove his clothes and threatened with the removal of his kidneys if he were not quiet about the situation.
In the second attempt, which ended in June, 52-year-old Ignacy Brzezinski and Wojciech Nowakowski, 41, were sentenced. One-third, Jan Sadowski, 26, accused guilty.
The conviction of the previous trial that ended in February was chief conspirator Marek Chowanic, Marek Brzezinski, Julianna Chodakiewicz, Natalia Zmuda and Justyna Parczewska.