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Two jailed for 'modern day slavery' in food factory

19 January 2016

Two men who trafficked people and forced them into underpaid work at food processing plants have been jailed. 

Konstantin Sasmurin, 34, and Linus Tatautus, 31, of Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk were jailed for three and a half years each last week. 

They were convicted after a joint investigation by police and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA). 

“Modern day slavery is real and is happening around us,” said Detective Sergeant Mark Scott from Norfolk Constabulary. “It must not be tolerated.”

Kings Lynn Crown Court heard how Sasmurin and Tatautus brought two male victims from Lithuania on a minibus, to live in run down accommodation. They were given insufficient food every week, and made to work in a food processing factory in Suffolk. 

They were told to put down Sasmurin’s address and bank account details as their own. The wages for their work was never given to them. 

After four weeks they were taken to a poultry factory to work, also in Suffolk. They received a total of only £20 for their work between July and October 2013. They were told they owed money for accommodation, transport, electricity and that they were not paid much because Sasmurin and Tatautus also had to cover taxes and interest.

The two victims said they feared they would be “fed to the crabs” if they complained. "Those two workers were extremely vulnerable,” said GLA Senior Investigating Officer Dave Powell. 

“They were preyed upon and exploited by perpetrators who showed not a care for their welfare and were driven solely by financial greed.”

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