Tyneside Polish slave trafficking gang jailed
A gang has been jailed for running a slavery operation which saw Polish nationals trafficked into the UK to be used as modern day slaves.
Sebastian Mandzik, Robert Majewski, Pawel Majewski and Seweryn Szmyt were all involved in transporting the vulnerable victims to Tyneside.
They were forced into menial labour and their bank accounts were controlled by the gang.
Any resistance was met with violence, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
Following a trial, the four were convicted for transporting people for exploitation, conspiring to force people into labour and conspiring to conceal criminal property.
Mandzik, 40, of Jarrow, was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison.
Robert Majewski, 46, of London, was jailed for eight years, while Pawel Majewski, 28, of Jarrow, was given a seven-year sentence.
Szmyt, 20, also of Jarrow, was sentenced to five years.
The court heard the victims were promised well-paid jobs but kept in cramped conditions and given employment paying only the minimum wage.
"The treatment of the victims in this case and the conditions in which they were made to live were truly appalling," prosecutor Jim Hope said.
Police said the trafficked people are now in safe locations.