Derby human trafficker brothers jailed
Two brothers have been jailed for trafficking 12 Czech and Slovak men into the UK to exploit them for wages and benefits.
Igor Marcin, 36, received a 52-month sentence and Marek Marcin, 40, was given 40 months at Derby Crown Court.
The Slovakian nationals had admitted their part in the operation at an earlier hearing.
The men's wives Dagmar and Gabriella Marcinova received 10 and eight-month sentences for fraud offences.
The family recruited vulnerable men by promising them well paid work in Derby but in reality they were exploited and denied basic rights.
On their arrival, the men were put to work in factories and at car washes, but the Marcins kept their wages and also fraudulently claimed benefits on their behalf.
Det Insp Emlyn Richards said: "Some of the men had chemical burns where they had been made to work at car washes in just their slippers.
"The chemicals had seeped through the footwear and burnt their skin.
"One victim told of how he removed his own tooth because he was denied access to a dentist. We were also told of a man who had suffered constant earache but was denied medical treatment. To end the pain he was in, he perforated his own eardrum."
Frantisek Ruzicka, 44, who was brought to Derby from the Czech Republic, said: "There were four of us in one room. I would wake up at 3am and you are being eaten alive by these flat beetles. You have got all these spots all over the place.
"At 6am, you are supposed to be getting up and going to work.
"I was working in a flower factory and you have bites all over the place and you want to scratch yourself but you can't. The itching was terrible, I really couldn't cope."
"They had all my documents so it was impossible to get work elsewhere. I was thinking of going back to the Czech Republic but I had no money, so how could I?"
The 12 men slept on mattresses in shared rooms and were given between £10 and £20 a week in "pocket money".
Their passports were taken off them and they were denied contact with the outside world.
Judge Jonathan Gosling said they had been "dehumanised". The victims, he said, were "easy targets" who had been targeted cynically.
The Marcins had stolen at least £50,000 in wages, and £100,000 in benefits.
Igor's wife Dagmar Marcinova, 38, admitted taking money from one of the victim's bank accounts and stole cash from another.
Marek's wife Gabriela Marcinova, 42, admitted stealing money belonging to one of the victims.
They had already spent half of their sentences in custody so were freed from court.
The investigation into the offences, which took place between 2007 and 2013, began after one of the victims went to the Salvation Army last April and told them his story.