Two human traffickers who were jailed after investigations and raids supported by Hope for Justice must now also pay thousands of pounds to their victims after exploiting them through forced labour.
Robert Dolinski and Andrezej Laskowski, jailed last year for a total of five years and ten months after admitting offences linked to human trafficking and forced labour, have been ordered to pay £16,500 to seven of their victims.
Hope for Justice’s investigators and advocacy team played important roles in this case, with the court proceedings last summer having followed operations and searches in October 2016 in the north-east of England, attended by Hope for Justice specialists and announced by us at the time here.
Hope for Justice’s International Programme Director, Neil Wain, former Assistant Chief Constable for Greater Manchester Police, said: “For survivors of modern slavery, the journey to restoration can be a long one. While money alone is not enough, because other specialist support continues to be required, it is great to see that some financial restitution for their suffering has been secured – and that it comes directly from the pockets of their exploiters.”
Full story below, courtesy Northumbria Police
Two human traffickers who were jailed for bringing migrant workers into the country and putting them to work for less than minimum wage have been ordered to pay more than £15,000 to vulnerable victims. Robert Dolinski and Andrezej Laskowski were jailed for a total of five years and ten months after admitting offences linked to human trafficking and forced labour.
The pair were jailed alongside three other defendants after a court heard how they brought more than a dozen vulnerable people into the country from Eastern Europe. Those migrants were then made to live in sub-standard accommodation and paid a tiny wage for their jobs working long, hard hours doing factory work.
Victims also had their passports and identification documents taken away from them so their traffickers could claim benefits in their name.
In total, Northumbria Police were able to work closely with partners and support agencies to safeguard 14 vulnerable people who were identified as victims. And now a confiscation order has been successfully obtained from court that will see Dolinski, 38, and Laskowski, 37, pay their victims more than £15,000.
Superintendent Steve Barron, who led Operation Border, said he was “delighted” with the court’s decision and that it underlined the force’s priority of protecting vulnerable people. He said: “It is not very often that the proceeds from this type of criminality actually find their way to the pockets of the victims so I am delighted with the result. These convictions followed a very complex investigation into human trafficking and force labour offences being committed by this organised crime group across the force area.
“Dolinski and Laskowski were the ringleaders of that group and they trafficked vulnerable people into this country with the intention of exploiting them through forced labour. They lived a very comfortable life off the back of the victims and it gives me great satisfaction that they are behind bars for the offences they committed. However, it is even more satisfying that the proceeds of their criminality will be given to the very people who they exploited for their own personal gain.
“Ultimately our main priority is to safeguard vulnerable people and put organised criminals behind bars. This recent result is clear evidence that we are heading in the right direction.”
The Proceeds of Crime Hearing involving Dolinski and Laskowski was held at Leeds Crown Court last Thursday where a judge ordered £16,500 be paid to seven of the pair’s victims.
Robert Dolinski was the recipient of a Confiscation Order for the sum of £6,500 and a Slavery and Trafficking Reparation Order that orders that money to be paid to three victims.
Andrezej Laskowski was the recipient of a Confiscation Order for the sum of £10,000 and a Slavery and Trafficking Reparation Order that orders that money to be paid to four other victims.
Dolinski, of Fouracres Road, Cowgate, had been jailed for three years two months in June last year, while Laskowski, of Murrayfield Road, Newcastle, was jailed for two years eight months.
Kewin Laskowski, 19, was also jailed for one year for one count of forced labour. Maria Pawloska, 34, and Agnieszka Laskowski, 37, were both jailed to six months for fraud by misrepresentation at Leeds Crown Court.