Newport: Three found guilty of enslaving vulnerable man – BBC

This video can not be played
Rolands Kazoks had his pay and bank cards withheld and denied showers and clean clothes
Three people have been found guilty of exploiting a vulnerable man by forcing him to work and withholding his pay and passport from him.
Latvian Rolands Kazoks, 31, was also stripped of his bank cards and denied showers and clean clothes, Newport Crown Court was told.
Two men and a woman, all from Newport, were found guilty of requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.
Sentencing is due to take place at a later date.
Jokubas Stankevicius, 59, and Ruta Stankeviciene, 57, both of Capel Close, and Normunds Freibergs 41, of Morley Close, were all found guilty of requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.
Freibergs was also found guilty of arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploitation contrary to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
He was found not guilty of a charge of acting as an unlicensed gangmaster.
The court heard Mr Kazoks had been living in Germany and wanted a better life in the UK.
He went looking for jobs on Latvian social media site Draugiem, where he was introduced to Freibergs whose profile picture showed him at a desk in an office with the logo for a firm named Thomas Recruitment behind him.
That and other pictures on his account were aimed to give the impression he worked for the recruitment firm, the prosecution said, which he did not.
After being told he would be able to work in a bakery for £8.20 an hour and only pay £85 a week living costs, Mr Kazoks travelled to Wales.
On arrival he was told he would be living in a small room in the house of Stankeviciene and Stankevicius.
Despite getting jobs in various factories, the court heard his debt to the three defendants spiralled as they erroneously charged him for things such as £50 for a National Insurance number, and £300 for getting a job in a chicken factory.
While unemployed, Mr Kazoks' debt soared and the defendants added interest.
The court heard they increased his living costs to £95 to pay for internet and to £150 because of Brexit.
Stankevicius was said to keep a chart of Mr Kazoks' supposed debt on the fridge, which ran into thousands of pounds.
In early 2018, Mr Kazoks started work at Abergavenny's Avara meat plant, where colleagues clubbed together to buy him trainers after seeing the flimsy footwear he was wearing in the snow.
He told them about the debts he owed and how much he paid to stay at the house in Pillgwenlly area of Newport before they raised the alarm.
Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) investigator Laura Thomas said it took two months before Mr Kazoks left the property in Newport.
'I had a big debt and didn't know what to do' Video, 00:02:14
Latvian seeking new life was enslaved in Wales
Woman denies forcing man to hand over pay
Man forced to work in meat factory, court hears
Slavery accused helped man with banking – court
HM Courts & Tribunals Service
Mass exhumations at Ukraine forest graves site
Counter-offensive won't change Russia's plans – Putin
Silent vigil at Queen's coffin led by King Charles
Watch live: Queen Elizabeth II's lying-in-state
How long is the queue to see the Queen's coffin?
Who is winning the war in Ukraine?
'Energy costs will shut my 93-year-old shop'
Which of his many homes will King Charles live in?
Tracking Trump's 'extraordinary' endorsement spree
Quiz of the week: Who tasted success at the Emmys?
Inside Indian cave which holds secrets to the past
What's the right age to get a phone?
The dating 'grey area' Gen Z embrace
The biggest myths of the teenage brain
The jobs employers can't fill
© 2022 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.


Leave a Comment