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  1. ITV Report

Brothers trafficked staff to work at Sports Direct

Krystian Markowski (left) and Erwin Markowski (right) have been jailed after trafficking people from Poland. Photo:

Two brothers have been jailed after trafficking people from Poland and sending them to work at Sports Direct, police said.

Erwin and Krystian Markowski exploited the "vulnerable" men by taking most of their wages after arranging work for them at the retailer's warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.

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.

The brothers told the victims they would arrange work and accommodation, but would confiscate travel documents and control their bank accounts, police said.

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 brothers each admitted to facilitating the transport of a person to the UK for exploitation and fraud by false representation at a previous hearing. They were both jailed for six years 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. The sentence today was a victory for the victims and also shows a warning to those acting in a similar manner."

– Detective Constable Sarah Fearn.