It was the biggest slavery and trafficking investigation ever in the UK.
In July 2019 we secured jail terms totalling 55 years against the Polish traffickers who we suspect brought up to 400 people to the West Midlands from their homeland.
A corrupt recruitment agent who lined his own pockets by supplying slave labour to a major parcels firm has been jailed after Police linked him to a Polish trafficking gang.
David Handy made a small fortune while his exploited workforce – trafficked to the UK with false promises of wealth and a good lifestyle – lived in squalor and ended up in some cases with just £20 a week.
Handy set up recruitment firm ASAP 24/7 Ltd in May 2015 and supplied Sutton Coldfield logistics firm XDP – who he used to work for – with dozens of shop floor workers sent to him by their Polish gang masters.
The 54-year-old was able to maximise profits by skimming off some of his victims’ earnings before paying wages directly into their exploiters’ bank accounts.
He also received back-handers from the trafficking gang for agreeing to find work placements for victims who were under their control.
It’s believed Handy, from Oxford Street, Stoke-on-Trent, made over £500,000 which he used to pay off his mortgage and other debts, and was able to amass savings of around £400,000.
He denied involvement but in June a jury found him guilty of conspiracy to force people into forced labour, conspiracy to traffic people for the purpose of exploitation and money laundering.
And yesterday (24 Sept) Handy was jailed for seven years at Birmingham Crown Court.
Handy made so much money from the exploitation of workers that he brought in an accomplice, Shane Lloyd, to try and prevent his illicit gains from being discovered.
Nearly £140,000 was paid into Lloyd’s bank account, which he then cashed and passed back to Handy.
Lloyd, 47, of West Brampton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing of two counts of money laundering and was given a 20 month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.