A Lithuanian national, Audrius Morkunas, arrived in East Anglia in 2009 and used his dominating physical presence to act as an unlicensed gangmaster.
Morkunas built up an organised crime group and for the next three years he controlled a number of victims, including one example where he forced victims to work in a chicken processing factory and bullied the factory owner to employ them.
He demanded rent and charged each worker for transport he provided, as well as charging £400 for finding them ‘work’. The victims invariably built up a debt to Morkunas that he used to exploit and control them.
Morkunas displayed aggression and used violence to control many of the victims. He controlled the bank accounts that they opened as well as taking control of many of their identity documents, including passports and driving licences.
After being found to have produced and used a forged Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) licence, Morkunas was convicted in December 2013 and received a seven year sentence for acting as an unlicensed gangmaster, seven years for money laundering and 18 months for assault after he beat a worker with an iron bar.
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