Brothers jailed for people trafficking and fraud

Sports Direct's warehouse and headquarters at Shirebrook.
Sports Direct's warehouse and headquarters at Shirebrook.

Two brothers who trafficked people from Poland and sent them to work at Sports Direct are now behind bars.

Erwin and Krystian Markowski were jailed for six years, earlier today, after admitting facilitating the transport of a person to the UK for exploitation and fraud by false representation.

Police say Erwin, 38, of Cedar Road, Nottingham, and Krystian, 35, of Harcourt Road, Nottingham, targeted victims in Poland and offered them the chance to travel to the UK.

Their victims were told accommodation and work would be arranged for them. But police say their travel documents would be confiscated and their bank accounts controlled.

Most of their wages from the retailer's warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire would also be taken from the men.

Officers said the case came to light when one of the victims visited the front counter at Radford Road police station in Nottingham last January.

He told officers he was living with around ten other men and being made to work for Sports Direct and his finances were being controlled by Erwin and Krystian Markowski.

Police said the victims were paid about a third of their salary.

The pair were jailed at Nottingham Crown Court today.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Sarah Fearn said: "The Markowski brothers systematically took advantage of vulnerable people that they purposely brought into Nottingham for their own personal gain.

"They financially benefited from the hard work of others and in return the victims were left feeling used, distressed and manipulated. Modern slavery will not be tolerated within Nottinghamshire."