British authorities sentence couple who enslaved Romani youth to nine and 16 years in prison respectively
A British court has convicted and sentenced a couple who enslaved Romani youngsters from Slovakia for years in Bristol, England: Joanna G. of Poland has been sentenced to nine years and Maroš T. of Slovakia has been sentenced to 16 years behind bars. The couple were prosecuted in Britain for committing human trafficking and modern slavery.
The TASR news agency in Slovakia has referenced a report on the convictions by the Sky News television station. The Bristol Post daily reported on Judge Martin Picton pronouncing the verdict: "I have to sentence both of you in respect of a business you jointly ran which treated the victims of your criminal conspiracy as if they were chattels."
"They represented a cash value to you in the same way cattle do to a farmer," the judge told the convicts. The couple brought at least 29 people to the United Kingdom, some of whom had been raised in children's homes in Slovakia.
The couple promised the youngsters a better life in Britain. Instead, however, after the Romani youth made it to the British Isles, the couple confiscated their passports and forced them to work in a car wash or a nail salon.
The Romani youth were forced to work 16-18 hours a day, seven days a week. Death threats and physical violence were used by the couple to enslave them.
The workers were never paid the money they were promised. Britain's National Crime Agency reported that between 2010 and 2017, the couple withdrew almost GBP 300,000 from bank accounts opened in the names of the victims.
Maroš T. never paid the workers the equivalent of GBP 923,000 for their work at the car wash. If the victims had been paid minimum wage, that is how much money they would have made, according to the NCA.
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