TWO brothers have been sentenced for two years after admitting gangmaster offences following a joint investigation in the Wisbech area.
Andrius Dambrauskas and Stanislovas Dambrauskas, both living in Wisbech, were due to stand trial this week but changed their pleas to guilty to acting as an unlicensed gangmaster.
Both men were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years and given 275 hours of unpaid work.
Cambridge Crown Court heard the Lithuanian brothers were unlicensed gangmasters for a number of people who had come to Wisbech from Lithuanian between 2012 and 2014, supplying them for work with companies in the regulated sector or via licensed gangmasters.
Four victims were traced by officers who had been provided with housing as part of the conditions of their work.
On at least one occasion, a victim said they wanted to leave but was told they could not.
Another victim said they had found alternative employment but the defendants failed to assist with transport and continued to make deductions of wages.
All the houses the victims had lived in appeared to be controlled by the defendants, who decided who lived there and for how long.
The victims had come from Vilnius, Lithuania, where they paid money for transport to England and what they thought would be a good house and a good, well-paid job. They did not get what they had paid for.
DC Vanessa Dodds said: “This was a large-scale investigation which has spanned over two years. We remain committed to tackling unlicensed gangmasters and protecting vulnerable people.“