Slovakian family jailed for trafficking slave workers to UK earning £5 a day
A Slovakian gang who made a family business from trafficking workers to the UK and forcing them to work for as little as £5 a day have been jailed.
Members of the Cisar family were told to think about the humiliation they caused to the people they exploited, some of whom resorted to begging their masters for food to feed their children, despite working up to 10 hours a day, six days a week.
After the case, the Crown Prosecution Service said one victim was paid just £3,000 for three to four years of work.
In 2013 an inquiry by West Yorkshire Police’s Human Trafficking Unit led to raids at 25 homes in Armley, Leeds, with lead to the rescue of 37 adults, or members of their families, including a one-year-old.
Leeds Crown Court heard how the gang approached victims in Slovakia – including a father who had a family of 11 living in a single room – and offered them the chance of a better life working in the UK.
But once they were brought over, they were found building work with a daily allowance of just £5-£7, with occasional top-up payments.
Members of the Cisar family would control their bank accounts, take benefits payments the victims were due, and provided them with only shabby accommodation.
Commenting on the exploitative daily rate of pay, Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said: “It is hardly surprising that they were turning up at the door step of the Cisar family from time to time, begging for food.
“This was a form of control in making them more dependent in order to continue the exploitation.
“There could be no greater humiliation to one’s dignity than an able-bodied person working all the hours God sends and he could not still provide for his children.
“There could be no greater position of desperation or hopelessness for a parent that to see envy in the eyes of his children, as the children’s friends have everything and the child does not.
“All of you in the dock are parents – just think about that.”
Some victims were picked because they were homeless, living in crisis centres, unemployed or alcoholics.
One local woman gave evidence to say she could see how hungry her neighbours’ children were when they played with her grandchildren so she fed and clothed them.
Meanwhile, children in the gang’s extended family had new clothes, and the women had jewellery, the court heard.
The judge handed out the following sentences:
Gang leader Frantisek Cisar (pictured), 37, of Rayleigh Street, Bradford was jailed for nine years for conspiracy to traffic and six counts of arranging or facilitating the travel within the United Kingdom of another for exploitation.
His brother Marcel Cisar, 34, of the same address, was jailed for 15 months. His part in the gang’s activity was curtailed by social services helping a family he had enticed to the UK for exploitation.
Their sister Bohuslava Cisarova, 33, a mother-of-six of the same address, was jailed for three years for conspiracy to traffic and exploitation.
Her husband Arpad Jano, 41, was jailed for four-and-a-half years for conspiracy to traffic and exploitation.
The Cisar siblings’ 60-year-old mother, also called Bohuslava, of St Leonard’s Road, Bradford was jailed for two years for conspiracy to traffic and exploitation.
She tried to help one of the family’s victims to falsely claim Disability Living Allowance, the court heard.
Her husband Jan Cisar, 62, was handed a two-year suspended sentence due to his ill health for conspiracy to traffic and exploitation.
Local landlords who used the Cisars’ workers to carry out renovations on their properties were also jailed.
Aurangzeb Naseem, 43, of Otley Road, Leeds was found guilty of three counts of exploitation and jailed for three-and-a-half years.
His father Mohammed Naseem, 59, also of Otley Road, Leeds, was found guilty of three counts of exploitation and jailed for 18 months.
Outside court, Detective Superintendent Pat Twiggs, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “These people were involved in modern day slavery – a crime that trades in human misery.
“They traded in victims. It is a terrible crime that can have a devastating impact on victims.
“These people belong in prison and today’s sentences should send out a clear warning that it will not be tolerated.”
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) West Yorkshire Police / PA Wire.