GLAA - Horse Trading
This video uses the GLAA's experiences with real human traffickers to illustrate the methods they use and the lengths they will go to to exploit workers for profit.
Though the voice used is that of an actor, the content is drawn from very real examples of cases encountered by GLAA officers.
Right. Hello. Good morning, or Labas rytas, as I say, in my country. My name is not important.
I would like to talk to you about recruiting.
This is easy.
There are so many people who want to come to the UK for a better life. So we go to big market squares outside the prisons, the homeless shelters, and Drug Rehabilitation Centres that treat mental illness in Lithuania
The average wage for a farm worker is about €325 a month.
I promised £250 per week wages, accommodation, and transport and plenty of work.
We call our workers horses.
Because that's what they are.
one horse can make loads of money, we know the families they come from, so we can always go back to the home if we get a problem with them. I get a worker usually desperate, not well-educated, no English.
I tell them, I have work for them in the UK.
I don't usually specify what work.
Some ask if they can be carpenters because they're qualified.
I just agree, and then when they get to the UK, it's too late.
I charge them £150 for the bus to get to the UK!
I have four minibuses I use in rotation, back and forth, and a swap which port I call me in and out of, I promise accommodation for 50, £60 per week.
I have loads of houses, that's a sublet and I have one guy in charge in each house, He's my lieutenant, and he collects all the money and makes sure that it is no trouble, no stepping out of line.
So the worker owes me to travel for their commendation and then I charge to find work, which is another £250.
They have no money, but I tell them they can pay me back when I get them work.
Some of them have no money for food the first week, but they always survive somehow.
The houses is a very good way to make money.
I can have up to 2, 9, 12 people living in a three bedroom house, which I pay £350 per month for.
They can't go anywhere else.
They don't know how to there will be trouble for the family at home if they don't repay me.
Each house can earn me about £30,000 per year.
In my own house, I have two horses, I need people to clean and tidy for me and they repaint it. I keep them occupied.
My repayment to them is not abusing them.
Most of my houses, up cold and damp horses, only sleep on mattresses on the floor. They don't need anything else.
The houses are not too good, that's why I get them cheap. No one else will live there.
Most of them are infested with bugs and cockroaches.
I open bank accounts for them, I have contacts, and I can open four accounts for each worker. When the workers get paid, I go to the houses and my other relatives go to the bank machines and withdraw their money.
I paid the workers up to £20 per week.
Some have run away.
It's damage limitation.
You expect some to run, but they owe me money. I don't ever forget, so when they get caught, their life won't be worth living and that of any relatives.
You see, if they have money, they will waste it buying drink.
There are loads of charities that will feed them.
And all the restaurants throw away food and the supermarkets in the big bins at the back of the shop.
I like to keep them moving without telling them I will get them to pack and then move them to another part of the country, I get them another job and they owe me another £250.
Some of the bank accounts I run into debt and I can make about a thousand pounds before the account is closed.
I take out what loans I can and their names. So if they do leave me and try to make a life in the UK. They will struggle because of bad debts.
Another stream of my income is benefits.
I have a very good understanding of the benefit systems. So claiming is easy.
I get housing benefits for each house, this is more difficult now after the new ruling, but I can still get child benefit for the workers, children who don't even have to live in the UK.
Also, working tax credit for each worker.
The basic is about £1940 per year.
You just have to play the system.
The best jobs are the full-time ones, but I get a contact with agencies, either someone who works in the office who speaks Lithuanian, or the management.
When the majority of workers speak another language, it's amazing how quickly the foreign speaker gets relied upon to organize the workers. So simple.
I like to deploy workers to more than one factory, spread the load you see keep them all guessing.
Most of the places I have some of my family working or pupil from my town back home, they keep tabs on the workers.
None of the workers can speak English so they can't complain.
They sit through the health and safety training and the induction, hilarious. They can't understand the words.
If they complain, they speak to other Lithuanians, my family, so I always get to hear, of course. Family at the factory, have their own scams going on, you know, for cigarettes.
Or booze in exchange for shifts, it's about £10 per shift. If they want to work.
I like to make sure they get to work.
So I charge them for transport £6 each way and that's deducted with the accommodation at the end of each week.
I like expensive cars like Mercedes.
I buy my cars in Germany and use workers' names for vehicle and insurance.
So it's not tracked back to me.
There are good fiddles to be had on insurance claims.
I control my workers with threats and force we tell them that we will take them to a wood and beat them up or beat their mother's up at home.
We did this to one worker, but he was lucky and managed to get away and got to a police station. that was shut down the whole area in the day we were gone.
We tell them they're not allowed to go out.
They're not allowed to speak to workers in any other houses.
We don't like them to drink.
If they do, I get the guy in charge of the house to beat them up, or they can have free rein with the women. It's up to them how they get the job done.
They can't read English, so I collect all the post. I keep all the bank stuff and cards.
Well, that's how I run the business in the UK!
We can do the same in France and Italy.
Anywhere, in Europe, I can send workers anywhere in the UK.
I can always sell them on, which costs about £200 and increases the debt of the workers. So it will be a long term commitment.
They are hard working, and it's at no cost to you.
It's only takes a phone call, and I can do the rest.