The UK’s largest modern slavery ring, which forced more than 400 people to work for a pittance while their criminal masters earned £2m, has been smashed.
A three-year police investigation uncovered an organised criminal gang led by the Brzezinski family, which preyed on homeless people, ex-prisoners and alcoholics from Poland.
The ring lured and then trafficked vulnerable people to the UK with the promise of good money, but instead housed them in squalor and used them as what a judge described as “commodities”.
Victims were paid as little as 50p for a day’s labour and in one case a worker was given coffee and a chicken as payment for redecorating a house.
Another man had to wash in a canal because he had no other access to water, while one house was so rundown that a leaking toilet had to be plugged with a duvet.