A Hackney man has been jailed for human trafficking four vulnerable Polish nationals, who he forced to sleep on the floor and work over 70 hours a week.
Jonatan Majewski, 26, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for one count of human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation at Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday.
Four victims – three men and a woman – were housed in a property on Woodville Road in Dalston where all had to sleep on the floor of one small bedroom.
They were sent out to work at a commercial laundry in Essex, where they did 12 hour days, six days a week, only for Majewski to demand their wages to pay back travel and accommodation expenses.
The victims, who had been promised good jobs and excellent wages, were fed rations of bread and soup and left with just a few pounds each to their name.
Majewski had recruited the four Polish nationals, who were all in their twenties, in Poznan, western Poland and transported them to the UK in January 2016.
After enduring three weeks of slave labour for almost no money, the victims desperately sought help from colleagues at the laundry and from police.
When officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Modern Slavery and Kidnap Unit executed a search warrant at the property Majewski was arrested and charged under Section 2 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
More than 4,000 potential victims of human trafficking or modern slavery were reported to the authorities in the year up to June 2017, many of whom came from eastern European countries like Albania, Romania and Poland.
As well as his 18 month custodial sentence, Majewski received with a Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order (STPO) to prevent him from committing similar offences in the future.
His father, Marek Majewski, 56, also pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and was given a 12 month custodial sentence.
DC James Greenaway from the Met’s trafficking and kidnap unit said: “Jonatan Majewski cynically exploited his victims for financial gain.
“He deceived them with the promise of a better life, offering a job with a regular wage, which was higher than they could earn in Poland. In reality they were made to work very long hours and had the majority of their wages withheld,” he said.
Anyone who is a victim, or suspects somebody may be a victim of modern slavery should contact police on 101 in a non-emergency, or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, contact the Modern Slavery Helpline 0800 0121 700 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.