Modern slavery boss who fled UK trial found in Poland

Brzezinski 'surrendered quietly' from the Polish flat

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A leader of the UK’s largest-ever modern slavery ring, who fled the UK during his trial, has been found by police in a flat in Poland.

Police said Ignacy Brzezinski “surrendered quietly” when he was discovered in an apartment in the city of Wloclawek on July 24, following a European Arrest Warrant.

The fugitive was one of five men and three women who were sentenced earlier this year for their roles in running a gang that forced 400 vulnerable people to work for next to nothing.

Trial judge Mary Stacey said Brzezinski was a high functioning alcoholic who "enjoyed the fruits of the conspiracy" to live "a life of leisure".

Some of the victims earned as little as 50p per hour while their criminal masters took £2 million between 2012 and 2017. 

The 52-year-old was given bail after he broke his leg falling down the stairs and fled the country while the jury was still deliberating.

Brzezinski is now in custody in Poland awaiting extradition to the UK where he will begin his 11 year jail sentence.

The conviction followed a three-year investigation which revealed a well-organised criminal gang led by the Brzezinski family.

The organisation trafficked homeless people, alcoholics and ex-prisoners from Poland to the UK, promising good wages.

Instead the workers, aged from 17 to over 60, were housed in cramped conditions and fed out-of-date food.

Police became aware of the situation after anti-slavery charity Hope for Justice were contacted by some of the victims.

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