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Gang made PS2m from trafficking vulnerable victims.

POLICE smashed the UK's biggest-ever modern slavery ring, run by a ruthless crime family who made PS2 million by trafficking victims from Poland to Birmingham.

Hundreds of vulnerable people including the homeless, alcoholics and drug addicts were lured from their Polish homeland to the UK with the promise of well-paid jobs and better lives.

But once they arrived in Birmingham and West Bromwich they were forced to open bank accounts by the criminals, who then put them to work and stole most of their wages.

Paid as little as PS20 a week, victims were made to live in appalling squalor, and beaten and threatened by enforcers if they complained, even being told to 'dig their own graves'.

The gang was brought down by West Midlands Police's Organised Crime team, aided by the Hope for Justice anti-slavery charity.

The West Bromwich charity encouraged victims to speak to the police, who were eventually able to unravel a spider's web of financial fraud and identify theft.

Now, eight members of the Polish Roma gypsy gang are behind bars after two trials at Birmingham Crown Court.

They include ringleader Ignacy Brzezinski, who was detained in the city of Wloclawek after fleeing justice, and who is starting an 11-year stretch behind bars.

Brzezinski, 52, drove around in a Bentley and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle from his home in Beechwood Road, West Bromwich.

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Title Annotation:News; Teasers
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 12, 2019
Words:227
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