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.

Read more here

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