‘Duped into life of servitude by criminal gang’

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A SENIOR detective has given new insight into a case where four men were trafficked into the city and kept in servitude.

Dawid Siwak was jailed for six years and three months after being found guilty of four counts of human trafficking and four counts of keeping a person in servitude.

His 2013 trial heard he trafficked men from Poland and while they worked legitimately he controlled their cash.

Detective Chief Inspector Scott MacKechnie, Hampshire Constabulary’s tactical lead for slavery, spoke about the case on the launch of the new anti-slavery partnership.

He said: ‘One of the men was brave enough to speak out in the circumstances they were in. He was thinking about taking his own life and that’s how that investigation started.’

Police raided the address and found people squeezed into a tiny flat.

The victim escaped Siwak, who was then 30, of Chichester Road, Portsmouth, and told police of the horrific conditions in January 2012.

Siwak kept control of the men’s bank accounts and in one case beat a man so badly he broke his ribs.

Mr MacKechnie added: ‘For me that’s the classic type of exploitation in this country.

‘People getting offered the opportunity that the streets are paved with gold but actually they are being duped into a life of servitude by organised criminals.’

He added: ‘People need to be aware of who’s living in the house next to them, what condition people are in.’