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Old 16-04-2018, 06:05 PM #1
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Default Eastern European UK Migrant Family Guilty of Slave Trading and Abuse

Romany family who bought destitute slaves from Eastern Europe for £200 a head then kept them in cellars and swindled benefits in their names are found guilty of trafficking

Five members of a Romany family have been found guilty of trafficking homeless people from eastern Europe into Britain to work as slaves.

The group, based in Newcastle, bought and sold their victims for as little as £200, and forced them to live in cellars and sleep in cramped rooms.

The Rafael family picked them up off the streets of central Europe and then used them to claim benefits by arranging National Insurance numbers for them, but pocketed the cash themselves, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Headed by Roman Rafael, the gang, from Slovakia, were convicted of charges including forced labour, money laundering and conspiracy to traffic with a view to exploitation.

Roman Rafael, said to be the ringleader of the group, poses with fellow gang member Angelika Chec

Victims were picked up from Slovakia and the Czech Republic and offered flights to the UK and work, but were then enslaved and sent to work in food packaging factories, the court heard.

Their lack of English and any documentation, as well as little access to money, effectively left them trapped.

They were confined to a house in Newcastle's West End and told they could go no further than its back yard as there were "men with machetes" in the streets.

The jury were told they were sent to clean houses and pull springs from old mattresses for the scrap metal between 2010 and last year.





Other gang members included Ruzena Rafaelova Jnr (above) and Ruzena Rafaelova Snr (top)

Jurors were told the victims included a homeless Slovakian father and his son who has learning difficulties.

Prosecutor John Elvidge said: "The defendants were running a family business and the business was slavery."

The Rafael family are from a Romany community in Slovakia which has its own dialect.

The defendants, spanning three generations, were prosecuted for offences against eight victims.

Diane Spence from the CPS said: “This family systematically targeted desperate and destitute people with the false promise of good work, fair wages and accommodation.

“The victims thought they would be able to earn money to send home to their families. Instead, the Rafaels enslaved them and treated them as nothing more than property to be passed around for financial gain.

“This was a challenging and lengthy trial and it is thanks to the brave testimony of the victims that the defendants have been brought to justice.”

Angelica Chec, 30, Ruzena Rafaelova 37, Juraj Rafael 38, all from Newcastle, and a 17-year-old who cannot be identified, were all convicted of conspiracy to commit slavery, conspiracy to traffic persons with a view to their exploitation and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Ruzena Rafaelova, 58, also from Newcastle, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit slavery and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Roman Rafael, 33, and Marian Rafael, 39, had earlier pleaded guilty. They both admitted two counts of conspiracy to commit slavery, servitude or compulsory labour, two counts of conspiracy to traffic persons with a view to their exploitation and two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Stefan Rafael, 62, of Newcastle, was cleared of all charges against him.

Detective Inspector Sally MacDonald of Northumbria Police, said: "Those responsible lead a life of luxury, enjoying holidays abroad and parties, financed by the money stolen from their victims.

"It is thanks to the bravery of the victims and work with partners that we have been able to secure these convictions."

The gang obtained National Insurance Numbers for their victims and used them to obtain Tax Credits which they pocketed.

Fraudulent BENEFIT CLAIMS in the names of JUST TWO of their victims netted them over £14,000 in just 6 years.


The Rafaels are themselves EU MIGRANTS to BRITAIN.

18 ADDRESSES were raided by police and 16 victims FREED.

The gang will be sentenced on April 27.

TIP OF THE ICEBERG FOLKS.
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Old 16-04-2018, 08:04 PM #2
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It makes me angry because there are those who abuse the system and yet for those who are genuine, like the commonwealth people who were children when they came here, they are being treated terribly. The renewal and legalisation of their documentation should be automatic.

I have a family member who has been kept apart from the person he loves for 8 months due to an atmosphere of suspician with which anyone in a relationship who wants to visit this country is treated, if they are not from an EU country. It's really terrible the hoops they have to jump through to be able to be together, even for a holiday.

It makes you wonder what all these people in high paid jobs at the home office are being paid for. They can't seem to run anything approaching a fair or efficient system.
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Last edited by jaxie; 16-04-2018 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 16-04-2018, 08:33 PM #3
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Hopefully they can be deported.
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