A man who supplied labour for demolition work has been sentenced to seven years in prison for slavery offences.
David Lupu, 29 of Lindley Road, Leyton, was found guilty on seven charges of holding a person in slavery or servitude by Inner London Crown Court.
Mr Lupu had lured seven men from Romania to work in London last July with the promise of £50 a day and good accommodation.
However, when they arrived they were taken to a property on Lindley Road in Leyton where up to 15 men were forced to live.
Mr Lupu then took their identification papers and told them they would have to pay him hundreds of pounds for their UK work permits.
On 14 August last year the men were put to work on a demolition job in Lancaster Gate, west London, for which Mr Lupu was well paid, according to the CITB, which assisted with the police investigation into the case.
When the men did not receive their wages at the end of the month they confronted Mr Lupu, who threatened to beat them to death.
Shortly after this, Mr Lupu travelled to Romania, which allowed two of the men to escape on 3 September and head to Forest Gate police station where they reported what had happened.
The CITB’s Fraud Team assisted the police with the investigation and on 6 September the Lindley Road property was raided, with Mr Lupu being arrested later that day.
CITB fraud investigator Ian Sidney said: “Modern slavery is a horrific injustice that unfortunately is becoming more commonplace in the UK’s construction industry.
“Forcing people to work illegally not only deprives people of their human rights; it also harms the reputation of the industry, puts employers at risk, drives down wages and denies employment opportunities to many others.”
Metropolitan Police modern slavery and kidnap unit detective constable Marie Marshall said: “The victims in this case were promised work and a future in London.
“The reality was very different and they were exploited by Lupu, who arranged work with no intention of payment, saddling the victims in debt.
“The victims were forced to live in cramped conditions and their movements were controlled by Lupu. When interviewed by officers, the men said they felt like they were treated like animals.”