United Kingdom: Ashfield man denies modern slavery charges over ‘forced labour’ at car wash

Defrim Paci, aged 42, of Sutton, his 37-year-old brother Jetmir Paci and Sitar Ali, aged 33, all stand accused of modern slavery crimes committed against Romanian nationals at Shiny, on Warwick Road in Carlisle, Cumbria, during 2016 and 2017.‬

Prosecutor Martin Reid told a jury at the city’s crown court as he opened the case: “This case is all about forced labour and arranging for people to come to the UK with a view to their being exploited.”‬

‪Defrim Paci, of Windmill Close, Sutton, “operated at the top of the conspiracy” which centred on the Carlisle car wash, alleged Mr Reid. Defrim’s brother, Jetmir, is said to have been involved in building work at the site, along with the transportation of staff.

The city business was managed by Ali, whose responsibilities included daily treatment of staff, their wages and payment for their transport to this country, plus their accommodation and rent collection.‬

‪“It is the prosecution case that the circumstances created by the defendants led to the freedom of these workers effectively being over-ridden,” Mr Reid alleged, “and that they were compelled to work long hours in bad conditions for little pay, their labour being exploited for the benefit of the defendants.”‬

‪Several workers, said the prosecutor, had identity cards taken away until travel cost debt was repaid; and were required to live in “very dirty” insect-infested multi-occupancy accommodation in Carlisle where rats were also seen.

‪Some described having no breaks, having the skin on their face and body “burned” by cleaning chemicals, and receiving no protective clothing. One had said: “They treated me the same like they would do with a slave.”‬

‪The Paci brothers and Ali each deny two charges. One alleges conspiracy to require others to perform forced or compulsory labour at Shiny in Carlisle; the other alleges conspiracy to facilitate travel with a view to exploitation. Ali further denies possessing criminal cash.‬

The original full article can be found at chad.co.uk

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