Three folks discovered responsible of contemporary slavery offences

Three folks discovered responsible of contemporary slavery offences


hree individuals who exploited and abused a susceptible employee have been convicted of contemporary slavery offences.

Normunds Freibergs, 40, and his accomplices Jacobus Stankevicius, 59, and Ruta Stankeviciene, 57, pressured their sufferer to work to repay an ever-increasing “debt” whereas pilfering his wages.

The defendants additionally managed his passport and financial institution card, stole parcels despatched from members of the family, and threatened him with violence if he tried to depart.

(from left) Normunds Freibergs, 40, and his accomplices Jacobus Stankevicius, 59, and Ruta Stankeviciene, 57, had been discovered responsible following a trial at Newport Crown Court docket (Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority/PA)

They had been discovered responsible by a jury following a trial at Newport Crown Court docket and will likely be sentenced later.

Investigators from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority arrested the trio throughout an operation with Gwent Police in October 2018.

They had been tipped off by a recruitment company after issues had been raised by employees at a poultry processing manufacturing facility run by Avara Meals in Abergavenny, the place the sufferer was working.

He had been launched to Freibergs, who boasted of serving to folks discover jobs within the UK, whereas working at a manufacturing facility in Germany.

As soon as within the UK, Freibergs housed the sufferer with husband and spouse Stankevicius and Stankeviciene in Newport, the place he was made to stay in worry of threats in opposition to his household and bodily violence.

The couple ridiculed and mocked him for smelling and prevented him from having a every day bathe, the courtroom was informed.

He was warned that if he tried to depart with out paying his so-called debt he could be in hassle and that “dangerous folks” in his homeland would pressure his household to pay.

His perceived debt grew to round £2,000, half of which was made up of curiosity, and his lease nearly doubled to £150 per week, blamed by his exploiters on Brexit.

Stankevicius even stored an inventory on the fridge detailing the sufferer’s debt – which included funds to lease fridge house he couldn’t use.

The sufferer started working on the poultry manufacturing facility shortly earlier than Christmas in 2017, incomes as a lot as £500 per week.

Nevertheless, his wages had been paid into financial institution accounts Freibergs pressured him to open on-line and on the excessive road in Newport.

Solely the three defendants had entry to the accounts.

Now in his early 30s, the sufferer has a job in one other a part of the UK and is doing properly.

Investigating officer Laura Thomas mentioned: “Exploiting susceptible employees is totally unacceptable and we is not going to cease in our efforts to carry those that deal with folks as commodities to justice.

“Freibergs, Stankevicius and Stankeviciene handled this human being like their very own personal money machine, stealing 1000’s of kilos of his hard-earned wages for their very own ends.

“Debt bondage, the place exploiters management and lure their sufferer in an countless cycle of perceived debt which realistically can by no means be repaid, is one thing our organisation sadly encounters all too typically.

“I’m happy that the jury has listened to the compelling case we put ahead and has concluded unanimously that the three defendants exploited this susceptible employee.”

Gayle Ramsay from the Crown Prosecution Service mentioned: “That is an appalling case of exploitation the place a sufferer was trafficked for contemporary slavery functions and subjected to a lifetime of distress – purely to line the defendants’ pockets.

“Gaining the sufferer’s confidence has been elementary to this case.

“A big quantity of labor went in to caring for and fascinating with him all through the method.

“It has taken immense bravery on his half to recount, at trial, the remedy he had suffered and I’m happy we had been capable of help him in that course of.”

Freibergs, 40, of Morley Shut, Newport, was convicted of pressured or obligatory labour and human trafficking offences. He was cleared of appearing as an unlicensed gangmaster.

Stankevicius, 59, and Stankeviciene, 57, each of Capel Shut, Newport, had been convicted of pressured or obligatory labour offences.

They are going to be sentenced on October 28.

Supply hyperlink