By: April Carson
After being taken down, two human traffickers in Bristol face up to 25 years in prison. This is a huge victory for the victims, who were forced to live in squalor and work for little to no pay.
Maros Tancos and Joanna Gomulska, both 46, have been operating a human trafficking operation for several years. At least 42 people identified as victims have provided supporting evidence to expert investigators.
The victims were forced to live in squalid conditions, often sharing a single mattress between multiple people. They were made to work long hours with no pay. One victim was even forced to eat food that had been left out for the family's dog.
The pair collaborated to exploit foreigners, who were typically poor or in danger of falling into poverty. They induced them to work for them under the promise that they would feed and shelter them as well as transport them to the United Kingdom. They also claimed that they would be compensated, but that half of their monthly income would go toward board and food expenses.
Gomulska took the victims' identities and other personal information, including papers for identification, while Tancos handled gathering staff. Gomulska permitted the victims to utilize the goods only while they were completing job applications or when they were needed for bank transactions. When clients required transportation, Gomulska impersonated as their interpreter and stole their bank cards and pin numbers.
At Tanco's car wash business, the enslaved workers carried out tasks during the day and at night, the couple had them do things like pack milk or capture chickens. The victims claimed that all they knew was work and explained how their tormentors beat and derided them.
According to the indictment, the 42 victims were forced to live in "deplorable and unsanitary conditions." They were given only two meals a day, often consisting of leftovers, and had to sleep on mattresses in a garage or on the floor of an unheated room. The workers were not paid for their labor and were not allowed to leave the property.
The Tancos pleaded guilty to one count of forced labor conspiracy and one count of money laundering conspiracy. In addition to their prison sentences, they were ordered to pay $3.6 million in restitution to their victims.
Back in July 2017, the pair was detained on charges of contemporary slavery and human trafficking. They were sentenced after a three-month trial at Bristol Crown Court. The couple's entire scheme was intended to help them gamble, according to reports from the news source.
“Tancos and Gomulska treated their victims as things, exploiting their desire for a better life for themselves and their families to keep them in a never-ending cycle of abuse. They were prisoners. “The events they described in court proved how psychologically damaged the pair had made them,” wrote NCA Branch Commander Colin Williams. These individuals fled poverty to the UK with high hopes but were instead exploited. They gambled and purchased automobiles while their victims endured.
Tancos and Gomulska spent the money stolen from their customers on gambling and vehicles. The victims were promised better lives but ended up in squalor. The pair will now face the consequences of their actions.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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