Polish national jailed for six years for human trafficking

22/02/2013

David Siwak, a polish national has today been sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court to a total of six years’ imprisonment. Siwak was convicted on 28 January 2012 of eight offences of exploiting four Polish workers who were enticed into coming to the United Kingdom to work. He was also convicted of four counts of forcing a person to perform forced labour and four counts of human trafficking.

James Kellam, Crown Advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Wessex Complex Casework Unit said: "This case is an awful tale of exploitation. Mr Siwak was recruiting workers from Poland with false promises that they could expect a decent life and decent pay working in the United Kingdom. 

"David Siwak, 30, offered to pay for the travel of workers from Poland to Portsmouth and for their accommodation in Portsmouth saying that the expense could be paid off by them when they started work.

"For some Polish nationals it seemed like an opportunity to make more money than they could in their country.

"However, their dreams of a better life were quickly shattered when they started to realise that they were being exploited.
 
"They were crammed in two flats in Portsmouth, one rented by Siwak the other rented by one of his acquaintances. If paid work could not be found immediately they would be made to do casual jobs for Siwak or his friends for which they were not paid or not paid properly. Whilst doing this work, their debt to Siwak would continue to increase.

"The victims were made to take building work or work in the food industry such as packing food.

"The victims were directed by Siwak to set up bank accounts. Siwak would and Siwak would then confiscate their bank cards and PINs saying that he needed to recover the debt that each victim owed to him. Using these cards, the wages the victims had earned would be taken away by Siwak often within minutes of being credited to the accounts.

"Siwak found other ways to obtain money from the workers, by making them obtain pay-day and short tem loans and contracts for mobile phones, which he would then sell to make money.

"Very quickly, the victims realised they were being cheated and exploited but they were violently assaulted or threatened when they tried to confront Siwak. He had full control of them, physically and mentally.

"One of the victims in his statements said that Siwak told him that if he would not work his arms and legs would be broken and he would be taken to Poland in a cardboard box. He had nowhere to go, no money and job and felt he had no choice but to stay there with no control over his life and feeling like a prisoner. He added that he was scared of Siwak because he had seen him attacking other people and heard from people who had been attacked.

"This human trafficking was finally exposed when one of the victims managed to escape in January 2012 and reported the crimes against him and his companions to the police.

"We would like to thank all the victims who have had the courage to give evidence in court. We hope that with these convictions they will be able to move on with their lives and have the future that they wished for."