29 May 2024, 13:58
By Furniture News Jan 20, 2016

Kozee Sleep owner found guilty of human trafficking

Mohammed Rafiq, 60, the owner of bedmaker Kozee Sleep Beds Ltd in Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire prior to the company's closure last year, has been found guilty of human trafficking by Leeds Crown Court.

According to the Yorkshire Post, the jury was told that “ethical audits by a series of leading high-street retailers failed to spot that a supplier was employing a 'slave workforce' in West Yorkshire."

The staff in question – principally Hungarians – were paid as little as £10 a day, the jury was told.

The BBC reports that the conviction follows that of Hungarians Ferenc Illes and Janos Orsos, who were jailed last year for supplying Kozee Sleep and its Batley-based subsidiary Layzee Sleep with slave labour.

Prior to its closure last year, the company supplied retailers including Next, John Lewis and Dunelm.

Mohammed Rafiq, of Thorncliffe Road in Staincliffe, will be sentenced on 12th February.

The case against two of Kozee Sleep's employees, Mohammed Patel and Mohammed Dadhiwala, accused of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel within the UK for exploitation, collapsed in December.

Kozee Sleep Beds bears no relation to Kozee Sleep (Midlands) Ltd.

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