NEWCASTLE: A landlord who enslaved his tenants, forced them to work in his takeaways and fed them left overs rather than pay them has been jailed, BBC has reported. Hargit Bariana claimed he was helping the homeless, but was convicted of modern day slavery offences.
The victims worked in grim conditions and were beaten or threatened if they did not comply, jurors heard. The 46-year-old, of Netherton Colliery, was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court to eight-and-a-half years in prison.
The offences related to a period between 2010 and 2016, during which Bariana forced four vulnerable men to work for free in his Blyth takeaway, while they were living in a multiple occupancy house he owned. They were supplied with drink and drugs and fed leftovers, but received no payment. Judge Sarah Mallett told him: “This was, in my view, commercial exploitation.
“Your business model was largely predicated on free labour and the most minimal expenditure into your business to extract the maximum profit.”