Wisbech man jailed for modern slavery offences ordered to pay back ill-gotten gains
A man who took control of a vulnerable foreign national’s passport and bank details before making him work 12-hour shifts for little or no pay has been ordered to pay back more than £10,000 to his victim.
Michail Charitonov, of Cannon Street in Wisbech, forced the man to sleep on a camper van mattress and use a curtain for a blanket.
The 37-year-old also took control of the victim’s bank card and bank account. Over 10 months the victim was exploited and around £10,000 was paid into his account, but he was only ever allowed about £200 of this.
Acting on intelligence, police searched Charitonov’s address on 16 August, 2017 and discovered a credit card under the victim’s name.
The man named on the card eventually came forward with allegations of exploitation after being taken to police by staff at the recruitment agency who employed him.
Charitonov was arrested and interviewed but denied the claims. However after standing trial at Peterborough Crown Court in December (2018) he was found guilty of facilitating travel with a view to exploitation, requiring a person to perform forced compulsory labour, theft and possession of an article for use in fraud.
Charitonov was jailed back in January for a total of seven years and 10 months.
He appeared at the same court last Monday (11 November) for a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing where Judge Matthew Lowe ordered him to pay back a total of £10,411 to his victim.
The money must be paid back in full within three months or Charitonov faces a further six months being added to his sentence.
Andy Gould, of ERSOU’S Regional Economic Crime Unit, said: “This POCA hearing has ensured that Charitonov will be stripped of the profit he made from his crime, and is a fitting outcome to the despicable offences he has committed.
“Working alongside our colleagues in Cambridgeshire Constabulary and our specialist financial investigators, we will continue to utilise every opportunity to use the Proceeds of Crime Act to deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains, amassed from the misery and exploitation of others.”
Warning signs of modern slavery or exploitation include people:
Not being able to come and go as they wish
Being under 18 and providing commercial sex acts
Working in the commercial sex industry and having a pimp/manager
Being unpaid or paid very little
Working excessively long or unusual hours
Not being allowed breaks or suffers restrictions at work
Owing a large debt and being unable to pay it off
Being recruited through false promises
Having high security measures at their place of work and/or living locations e.g. opaque windows
Suspicions relating to exploitation, modern slavery and human trafficking should be reported online via www.cambs.police.uk/report or by calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.
Concerns can also be reported to the confidential 24/7 Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121700 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For more information on modern slavery and advice on how to spot the signs, visit the force website: www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Modern-slavery/Modern-slavery
More by this authorSarah Cliss