Two accused in human trafficking and slavery probe

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TWO people have been charged following a police probe into the suspected trafficking of six Polish nationals who were allegedly kept as slaves.

Dawid Siwak and Rosa Urbanowicz each face six counts of holding a person in slavery or servitude at addresses in Portsmouth and Chichester.

The pair are accused of taking control of the men’s finances, accommodation and employment against their will.

Siwak and Urbanowicz are jointly charged under section 71 of the Coroners Act 2009 which creates an offence holding someone in slavery or servitude, or requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

Siwak is also accused of trafficking the six victims from Poland into the UK for exploitation.

He is charged with six counts under sections four and five of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004 which creates an offence of arranging or facilitating the arrival in the UK of an individual intending to exploit that person in the UK or elsewhere.

All of the offences are alleged to have taken place between March last year and May 9.

Siwak, 29, and mum-of-two Urbanowicz, 33, were arrested during a police raid at a property in Chichester Road, North End, Portsmouth.

A Hampshire police spokesman said: Both suspects were arrested during the early hours of May 9 after a warrant was executed at an address in Chichester Road.

‘Hampshire Constabulary would like to thank a number of partner agencies for their considerable support during this investigation.

‘These include the UK Human Trafficking Centre, the Salvation Army, and the Crown Prosecution Service.’

Siwak, of Nelson Road, Southsea, and Urbanowicz, of Chichester Road, North End, Portsmouth, spoke through interpreters when they appeared jointly at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

The pair were flanked by three custody officers in the glass panelled dock.

Siwak and Urbanowicz spoke only to confirm their names, ages and addresses.

No pleas were entered by either defendant.

The pair could face up to 14 years in prison and a fine if convicted in the crown court of the slavery charges.

Those convicted of an offence of trafficking people into the UK for exploitation would ‘almost certainly’ receive sentences of over 12 months according to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The pair were remanded in custody to appear at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court in June.