West Midlands Police has charged a 32-year-old man and 26-year-old woman with slavery offences, following allegations they exploited a man to work at a Black Country recycling facility.
Tadeusz Ondycz and Marta Dombrowska, of Willes Road in Winson Green, Birmingham, were remanded in custody following a hearing at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 13 October.
They are accused of luring from Poland a 47-year-old man, said to be a “childhood friend”, to work at the unnamed recycling plant and stealing his wages while paying him a “pittance”.
They also allegedly took his documentation and controlled his bank account.
Ondycz and Dombrowska were charged with human trafficking and holding a person in slavery or servitude under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, as well as one count of fraud by false representation.
They are next due to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on 10 November.
Hope for Justice, a charity that works with victims of modern slavery, says that of the cases it deals with, around 70% to 80% involve the recycling or waste processing industry at some point of a person’s period of exploitation.