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One woman and two men who sexually exploited women and forced several of their victims to work as slaves in Gorton and Levenshulme have been jailed in the Czech Republic.
The following sentences were given at County Court in Usti and Labem today (Wednesday 6 November 2019).
Rigo and his accomplices were charged in the Czech Republic as a result of an investigation by the Czech National Organized Crime Agency and the Modern Slavery Coordination Unit at GMP.
Between 2012 and 2016, Rigo forced 13 men and women in to labour and sexual exploitation against their will in Gorton and Levenshulme.
During this period Rigo targeted vulnerable residents from Most – a city in the Czech Republic and offered them well paid work in the UK. He then transported a number of the victims to Manchester and also recruited a number of vulnerable Czech citizens in Manchester where he took away all of their identity documents.
Rigo forced the men and women to do various activities either by threatening them or by using violence. The women were sexually exploited and the men were forced to work at car washes or restaurants in various parts of Manchester.
The men and women received practically no payment from Rigo for their work.
Enquiries established that Rigo also committed bigamy whilst he was married to Darina Rigová and sexually assaulted one of his victims on several occasions.
After a lengthy investigation by the Czech National Organized Crime Agency and the Modern Slavery Coordination Unit at GMP officers arrested Julius Rigo, Darina Rigova and Karel Adam for slavery offences on Wednesday 18 April 2018 after searching properties in the West Midlands and the Czech Republic.
On Friday 20 April 2018 Rigo appeared at District Court in Most, Czech Republic and was remanded in custody.
Detective Constable Christopher Nield, one of GMP’s dedicated Modern Slavery officers, said: “Today’s verdict is the result of a long and complex investigation by GMP officers and our partners.
“It is a great result of a collaborative working not only with authorities such as the Czech National Police, Europol, Eurojust and the Modern Slavery team in GMP but the wider partners and charities who have supported these vulnerable victims throughout.
“I hope this sends a clear message that we will not stand for modern slavery in Greater Manchester and our officers are absolutely committed to making sure that people who subject others to this horrific treatment are brought to justice.”
Modern slavery comes in many guises. #WouldYou spot the signs of forced labour? Visit https://www.gmp.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/ms/modern-slavery/
• Would you recognise the signs of modern slavery?
• Would you live in the squalid conditions these people are expected to live in?
• Would you know how to report modern slavery?
Modern slavery involves the movement or recruitment of individuals using threats, deception or other means for the purpose of exploitation.
It is not an issue confined to history or an issue that only exists in certain countries. It is a global problem and it is happening right now.
There is no typical victim of slavery – they can be men, women and children of all ages but it is normally more prevalent amongst the most vulnerable, minority or socially excluded groups.
Victims found in the UK come from many different countries, including Poland, Hungary, Romania, Vietnam and the UK itself.
Modern Slavery is organised crime with severe consequences. All too often members of the public turn a blind eye, either through fear or ignorance.