A recruiter who made nearly £ 1million supplying Polish slaves to a parcel delivery company has been jailed alongside two other mainstays of human trafficking.
David Handy, 54, acted as a ‘legitimate employer’ through his ASAP 24/7 agency to supply workers to Birmingham-based logistics company XDP.
The workers were sent to him by Mateusz Natkowski, 29, and Lukasz Wywrinski, 38, who used violence and intimidation to keep them in line while forcing them to live in squalid beds scattered across the West Midlands.
Handy skimmed off some of his victims’ legitimate income while paying their wages into bank accounts operated by Natkowski and Wywrinski, leaving them with earnings of just 50 pence per hour.
Up to 400 Polish nationals, including teenagers and a man in his 60s, are believed to have been trafficked to the UK – many of whom were “homeless, vulnerable and desperate to earn money”, said prosecutors said.
A man was promised £ 300-450 a week and UK accommodation and forced to sneak into a two-bedroom house with 11 people with no beds, no heating, no hot water or cooking facilities .
For three weeks he worked 12 to 13 hours a day and was paid a total of £ 10.
Detectives found the victims were kept their papers, fed stale food, and forced to retrieve discarded mattresses for sleeping.
Some of the slaves said they were forced to use the nearby canals for washing and defecating due to the lack of water and toilets on the properties.
The court heard how exploitation led some victims to self-harm, while others believed their families would be targeted if they surrendered to the police.
The trio have been convicted in three trials following the UK’s largest modern slavery lawsuit ever, which exposed what is believed to be the country’s largest human trafficking ring .
David Handy, 54, of Oxford Street, Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent was convicted of conspiracy to compel people into forced labor, conspiracy to traffic people for the purpose of exploitation and money laundering and was sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday.
Mateusz Natkowski, 39, homeless, was convicted of three counts, including conspiracy to require another to perform forced or compulsory labor and conspiracy to control another for purposes exploitation through labor.
He was imprisoned for four years and six months.
Lukasz Wywrinski, 38, pleaded guilty to six offenses and was jailed for four years and three months.
Another man, Shane Lloyd, 47, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, has pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering after cashing nearly £ 140,000 for Lloyd through his own bank account.
He was sentenced to 20 months suspended prison sentence and 200 hours of unpaid work.