ENTERTAINMENT

Father and son who paid their employees more than 50p an hour have to repay £ 80,000


A father and son who displayed their luxury cars and expensive jewelry while their enslaved employees were paid less than 50p an hour were ordered to repay nearly £ 80,000.

Petr Makula and his son Mario brought homeless and alcoholic men from the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the UK with the promise of a better life.

They each kept 19 slaves in a four bedroom house in Dover, Kent, and paid them £ 5 a week.

The house had limited access to central heating or hot water, and its residents received virtually no money to spend. A worker was estimated to have a living wage of less than 50p an hour.

Mario Makula poses with an Audi while employees received £ 5 a week

The Czech couple set up their own recruitment agency to provide workers for a tile factory in nearby Lydd and a car wash, but pocketed the lion's share of the wages themselves.

Many of the victims were vulnerable and living on the streets when they deliberately went back to 2007.

Petr, 50, told his victims he couldn't pay them because his business was in trouble – but it is believed he made around £ 1 million trafficking.

Son Mario was featured on social media in expensive jewelry and drove around in supercars while his father took lavish trips to Dubai.

In the meantime, the exploited men worked up to 36 hours at a time and sometimes had no days off for years.

Petr Makula said he couldn't afford to pay his workers because his business was in trouble but he had imagined enjoying his vacation in Dubai

Petr Makula said he couldn't afford to pay his workers because his business was in trouble but he had imagined enjoying his vacation in Dubai

Petr Makula said he couldn't afford to pay his workers because his business was in trouble but he had imagined enjoying his vacation in Dubai

They also had to share a grocery budget of just £ 100 a week, which consisted of just one basic meal a day, which usually consisted of pasta or potatoes with sauce.

Housing costs were also deducted from their wages, with a worker's living wage being less than 50p an hour.

Anyone who spoke out against the conditions was beaten or humiliated by the older man, prosecutors said.

The couple were jailed last July after convicted of multiple offenses related to human trafficking and modern slavery.

Petr was sentenced to eight and a half years while Mario was imprisoned for four and a half years.

Kent, a judge on Canterbury Crown Court, has now ordered that £ 73,608 be seized from Mario and another £ 4,739 from Mario.

An investigation into her assets under the Crime Proceeds Act found that Petr made just over £ 1 million from the slave system, while Mario is estimated at £ 218,731.

Mario Makula has been featured in expensive trinkets on social media while exploiting men from the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Mario Makula has been featured in expensive trinkets on social media while exploiting men from the Czech Republic and Slovakia

All other assets that one of the two men receives in the future can also be confiscated up to these values.

Petr ran his own employment agency called Kladrom and was hired by a Romney Marsh-based company to recruit people to work at his factory. Most of the money earmarked for his workforce was instead spent on himself and his family.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate opened an investigation in January 2018 when a former employee came forward to tell him what had happened to him.

The Dover couple were soon arrested and charged.

Large numbers of exploited workers were then identified by 2007 officials, and eight testified against the Makula family during their trial.

During the trial, the jury was shown pictures from the Makulas' social media accounts of Mario wearing heavy gold chains and posing in front of a number of expensive cars.

His father was pictured on vacation in Dubai despite claiming he couldn't afford to pay his workers because his business was in trouble.

A jury found the couple guilty of numerous human trafficking and modern slavery charges at Canterbury Crown Court.

The father and son, who have been exploiting workers since 2007, have been asked to repay £ 80,000

The father and son, who have been exploiting workers since 2007, have been asked to repay £ 80,000

The father and son, who have been exploiting workers since 2007, have been asked to repay £ 80,000

Detective Inspector Annie Clayton of the Serious Crime Directorate in Kent and Essex said, “Petr and Mario Makula have withheld the wages of their enslaved workers, so it is only right that the money they have confiscated is now returned to the victims as compensation .

“They were forced to do groundbreaking work in exchange for virtually no money and terrible living conditions, so it would be unacceptable for the Makulas to have access to illegally earned finances after they were released from prison.

"This is another great example of how the crime proceeds law is routinely applied to ensure that criminals are under no illusion that crime won't pay off in the long run."

Chief Investigator Detective Inspector James Derham said after the couple's conviction, “Petr and Mario Makula made no secret of the high life they lived by posting pictures of themselves on social media while displaying the proceeds of their crimes .

Less obvious was the damage they did to their workers, who were forced to endure appalling living conditions without being able to spend money on themselves.

"They have given little or no thought to the welfare of others while benefiting from the misery of others and are now rightly in jail."