Convicted gangmaster faces lengthy jail term

A gangmaster who built a £5m business on illegal workers faces up to 28 years in jail after he was convicted of money laundering and conspiring to break immigration laws.

Ukranian Victor Solomka created a company using workers who entered the UK illegally, largely for fish factories in Scotland.

He was found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of breaches of immigration law and money laundering.

Solomka’s companies supplied labour to factories who paid £6-£6.50 per hour for the workers.

But the wages the workers received from Solomka only equated to about £4.30 per hour. In addition the workers had £40 for rent and £10 for transport deducted from their wages.

The court was told that none of the workers had an automatic right to stay in the UK and many had been provided with false Home Office documents.

However, police investigations found that of the 700 staff on the firm’s books, 429 had never been registered with the Home Office, while just 86 had genuine national insurance numbers allowing them to work in the UK.

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