Kirklees: Bed manufacturer jailed for 27 months for conspiracy to traffic workers

12/02/2016

Mohammed Rafiq, a factory owner who employed large numbers of Hungarians as a "slave workforce" in his multi-million pound bed manufacturing business has today been sentenced to 27 months' imprisonment for conspiracy to traffic. The case came to light after two Hungarians, Janos Orsos and Ferenc Illes, were arrested and subsequently convicted of human trafficking charges.

Gavin Hotchkiss, reviewing lawyer, Complex Casework Unit, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside said: "Large numbers of Hungarian men were employed by Rafiq at his Kozee Sleep and Layzee Beds factories in West Yorkshire. Rafiq was aware of the circumstances of the Hungarian nationals who were working at his factories and were exploited as a slave workforce.

"This defendant was part of  a persistent and heartless campaign of exploitation involving many Hungarian men over a prolonged period of time. These men were vulnerable and desperate for work; they were promised good wages  and accommodation.

"Once in the UK they faced a very different reality, living in shared, squalid and grossly overcrowded  accommodation, some of which was provided by Rafiq. They worked for anything up to 20 hours a day, five to seven days a week, for little or no wages. The money they earned was passed to the trafficking gang, who then handed over minimal amounts to the victims.

"The sentence handed down today is a clear warning that the exploitation of vulnerable workers will not be tolerated."

Additional information

  • Mohammed Rafiq: Charged with one count of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel within the UK for exploitation. Guilty.
  • Mohammed Tarik Patel: Charged with one count of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel within the UK for exploitation. Not guilty.
  • Mohammed Amin Dadhiwala: Charged with one count of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel within the UK for exploitation. Not guilty.