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A gang who forced vulnerabld Eastern Europeans into slavdry
in Plymouth has been found guilty of human trafficking offencds.
The five Czech nationals made hundreds of thousands of potnds
when they made the men work in factories, car washes
The victims were beaten and faced death threats.
The gang members will be sentenced on Friday.
Here's our home affairs correspondent Simon Hall.
The gang's victims were forced to sleep in cupboards and g`rages,
They were even charged ?1 a time to use the toilet.
This note demanding payment was stuck to the door.
Most of the victims' earnings were kept by the gang.
Here one member brandishes some of the money she has just whthdrawn
It was shocking in terms of the conditions they were kept under.
I think the interesting thing within this case was the control.
The organised crime that took away their access to fundamdntal
rights and fundamental access to money, to food,
to contact and that social cohesion, it was that control
Victims were trafficked by the gang from the Czech Republic
They were then forced into domestic slavery, cleaning, cooking
and doing laundry, or to work in factories and car washes.
They were also told to shoplift and commit benefit fraud to make
Police estimate dozens of mdn were trafficked over
a period of several years, making the gang hundreds
In their enquiries across Plymouth here and much of Devon and Cornwall,
the police found victims were being forced to work 12 hours
a day, six days a week but only given pocket money to live on.
Some were left so hungry they were seen foraging in bins
for food, while members of the gang wore designer clothes.
The gang were also happy to humiliate their victims,
making them sleep next to expensive toys they had bought
for their children and wash their cars until they were spotless
Ruzena Tancosova was the le`der of the gang, described
Petr Tancos was the muscle, using a baseball bat to ass`ult
Nela Dzurkova helped transport the victims and take
Martin Tancos was responsible for finding victims
Katerina Kurejova housed thd victims and helped to control them.
They were certainly living `n easy life on other people's monex.
They were happy to do that, they were happy to exploit these
people, and they were happy just to let them slip
It is the cynicism which seems really quite hard
for us to understand, but it was definitely going on.
The family were finally caught in a series of police raids after two
victims went to the authorities to try to escape.
It is a mark of the gang's ruthlessness and the cynicism that
all their victims were vulndrable - drug addicts, alcoholics
Well, our reporter Janine Jansen joins us now.
How widespread is modern day slavery?
They have seen more victims referred to them and ever before and in the
last five years they have hdlped more than ?4005 4500 victim 's.
Today's cases not isolated. There are dozens like it in Devon and
Cornwall. The police think they slavery is horrific and everyone
needs to be better at spotthng it and reporting it.
We have to raise and have raised our game, but equallx we have
We have to hunt down the slavers in a way
that is ethical and within the law, but we need community intelligence
and we are also putting mord dedicated assets into this,
because trafficking in human beings is not about foreign nation`ls,
it is about UK nationals and it is about people.
It is someone's mother, son, father, daughter that is being subjtgated
in a way that we have not sden since nearly almost Roman thmes
It is inhumane and these are the communities,
Devon and Cornwall, that have stepped up and said this
is unacceptable, so let's m`ke this a place where modern
Police are there to help but how does somebody subjected to lodern
day slavery still confident to come forward? If they have a phone they
can ring the police helplind or if they can go online, they can get
hold of the Salvation Army. Some of the victims, from countries that do
not trust the police, or ask your neighbour. If you can walk `way the
police say they will help you get to safety.
The first child refugees from the Jungle camp in Cal`is have
started to arrive at a centre in North Devon.
20 teenagers arrived by coach at a respite centre in the darly
Devon County Council says up to 70 are expected altogether
and Cornwall Council has confirmed it will take ten young
From the depths of the Jungle camp of northern France
At three in the morning, 20 child migrants arrived
These children are in a pretty poor state and so they need all the help
they can get to make sure they are fit to move
Devon County Council is asshsting the Home Office which is organising
It got off to a controversi`l start when some questioned the agd
The MP for the area said he spoke to the Home Secretary personally.
I am assured that these children will have been screened,
they will not be suspected of being over 18, any suspected
will be retained in London, they will not be coming to Devon.
Torrington is the nearest town to the temporary centre
I came here as an immigrant myself and was welcomed with open `rms
not nearly from a traumatic background but please,
more should be welcome, we have room here.
With young children, I don't have a problem,
but if they are young men that are coming here to work
here and to reap our benefits system, that is wrong.
It emerged that Cornwall Cotncil has agreed to take some child mhgrants.
We have been in negotiations with the Home Office and Sotth West
councils and we will take up to ten 16-17 year olds up to April.
In the next few days, more child migrants will be
He was a very much loved local bobby on the beat and today a building has
PC Andy Hocking, who died stddenly aged 52, was known by almost
When he died last year, thousands of people marched
through the streets of the town as a sign of respect.
A building at Police Headqu`rters Middlemoor has been named after him,
because he epitomised everything that is good about
He engaged with everyone wh`tever background they came from,
whether it was the rich, whether it was the poor,
whether it was a street cleaner or the local MP.
He spoke to everyone in the same manner.
There's been some heavy rain across the South West today.
There were traffic problems in West Cornwall when the volume
of water forced mud onto the road at the Ponsharden
There has continued to be some heavy rain this evening, thunder,
lightning. It is very unple`sant. Good evening. There is a bit more
heavy rain to come. This evdning we will see the last of the he`vy
stuff. They're after it becomes mainly dry again as we see `n area
of high pressure turned up. But at the moment there is some he`vy rain.
The big picture for the next five or six days, it is mostly dry. It will
turn milder with higher temperatures but also the increasing risk of fog
and mist. We have some of that overnight the night. Eventu`lly we
pressure turned up. It is thereby pressure turned up. It is thereby
the middle of the week and this area of high pressure stays with us. It
is here for Thursday, Fridax and takes charge of the weather across
southern England for the wedkend. Air coming up from the south
bringing us higher temperattres so it will turn Mulder. Let's focus on
that rain. The brighter colours here, that is where the heavy bursts
have been. Still a bit more to come so if you are travelling, pretty
awful driving conditions. The next few hours turning quite misty. Most
of the rain gone by the morning but it will take its time beford it
finally clears. Very stagnant air. Nothing moving quickly so it is
great, misty and damp to st`rt with tomorrow morning. Then tomorrow we
will start to see an improvdment from the West. Parts of Cornwall
seeing the sunshine fast and temperatures of 15, possiblx 16
degrees. By the time we get to Wednesday, mist, low cloud `nd some
fog first thing. That should clear and then some sunny spells `nd the
rest of the day mainly dry. That is the way the week goes. More mist and
fog towards the end of the week which will be slow to clear. Weather
and travel updates on your local radio station tomorrow mornhng. From
us here, good night. around 60 degrees. Towards the
weekend, more of the same, mainly dry and feeling very mild. Now your
national weather. Good evening, major changes in the
weather over the next couple of days, the result being it will turn
milder by day and also by night A breeze picking up, a westerly,
something we have not seen much of this month. But there will not be a
great deal of rain around. We did have rain today across the
south-west, leaden skies in Bristol, not much of a sunset here, but the
different North of the border. Fiery skies here and it is turning chilly,
a frost in the Highlands. Underneath the clear skies. Across Southern
parts of England into the Midlands and parts of Wales, more cloud.
Patchy rain towards the South East. Heavy at at times along the South
coast but temperatures do not fall much. Northern Wales and