Bed-making firm owner Mohammed Rafiq has been found guilty of a human trafficking offence.
According to the Harrogate Advertiser, the Leeds Crown Court jury heard that an investigation into Kozee Sleep, based in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and its Batley based subsidiary Layzee Sleep, commenced after two Hungarians, Janos Orsos’ and Ferenc Illes, were arrested over human trafficking allegations.
According to the news source, prosecutor Christopher Tehrani QC said Rafiq knew Orsos’s organisation would source him ‘cheap slave labour to work at Kozee Sleep and Layzee Sleep factories’, and that Rafiq was ‘aware of the circumstances of the Hungarian nationals who were working at these sites and went along with their exploitation as a slave workforce’.
A statement from the West Yorkshire Police said: “Mohammed Rafiq, 60, of Thorncliffe Road, Staincliffe, Batley, was found guilty following a trial at Leeds Crown Court of conspiracy to arrange of facilitate travel within the UK for exploitation. He has been released on bail to appear at Leeds Crown Court on 12 February for sentencing.”
Kozee Sleep ceased trading in May 2015 following the appointment of insolvency expert KPMG as practitioner at the firm.