UK factory-owner jailed for exploiting trafficked Hungarians

LONDON – A British factory-owner has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for employing Hungarian workers for as little as 10 pounds ($14.50) a week.

Mohammed Rafiq’s company Kozee Sleep made beds for major retailers including Next and John Lewis, and was supposed to abide by their ethical-trading policies.

But prosecutors said men brought from Hungary worked up to 16 hours a day for between 10 pounds and 20 pounds per week.

Rafiq was convicted in January of human trafficking. Sentencing him Friday at northern England’s Leeds Crown Court, Judge Christopher Batty said the workers had suffered “hideous exploitation.”

The judge said Rafiq was “a fallen man who has lost it all. You must now lose your liberty.”

Two Hungarian men were sentenced to three and five years for trafficking.