Pair jailed for trafficking and threatening Lithuanian modern-day slaves in Corby

Lyda Petraviciute, 42, left, and Laisvidas Urbaitis, 36, right, were both jailed for nine years.
Credit: Northamptonshire Police
Lyda Petraviciute, left, and Laisvidas Urbaitis were both jailed for nine years. Credit: Northamptonshire Police

Two modern slavers who trafficked and exploited Lithuanian nationals - leaving them in debt and facing homelessness - have been jailed.

Lyda Petraviciute, 42, and Laisvidas Urbaitis, 36, were part of an organised crime group which exploited Lithuanian nationals in Corby between 2017 and 2019.

The Lithuanians who came over were promised a better life and the offer of work - but once they arrived in the UK they were put up in multi-occupancy homes being sublet by Petraviciute and Urbaitis. 

The victims were then put into debt and threatened with violence, being made homeless, losing their jobs and deportation.

Their wages were taken and their bank cards were also controlled and used fraudulently to get credit against their names.

Northamptonshire Police launched a three-year investigation into the gang and Petraviciute and Urbaitis were arrested and charged.

After being convicted by a jury at Northampton Crown Court in November, Petraviciute - who was found guilty of one count of trafficking and two counts of compulsory labour - was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Urbaitis - who was found guilty of two counts of trafficking and one count of compulsory labour - was also sentenced to nine years in prison.

Det Sgt Sharon Drage commended the bravery of the victims in supporting the investigation.

"For too long they were controlled by this gang and I’m pleased that they are now free and can now move forward with a better life.

“Secondly, I just want to thank the Lithuanian police and courts for their assistance with this investigation – without their support and cooperation, this trial would not have gone ahead."

Det Ch Insp Nick Cobley, head of serious and organised crime, said: “Tackling serious and organised crime is a priority for this force and that includes modern slavery, a crime in which people are terribly exploited and used for the financial gains of others.

“I would like to reassure the public that we will continue working hard to safeguard the most vulnerable in our society and bring the offenders to justice, however difficult the task at hand."

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