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Hotelier ordered to repay £100,000 for human trafficking

26 April 2018 by

Disgraced former hotelier Shamsul Arefin has been ordered to repay his ill-gotten gains by the Scottish courts.

Arefin, who was jailed for three years for human trafficking offences in 2015, has been ordered to repay almost £100,000, which he made by exploiting four men recruited from Bangladesh to work in the Stewart hotel near Appin in Argyll.

The four were each forced to pay the equivalent of more than seven years' wages in Bangladesh to secure employment at Arefin's hotel (the average Bangladeshi wage is approx £2,400 per annum).

The promise of a relatively well-paid job in Scotland and the opportunity to better themselves was belied by the reality of working excessively long hours in freezing conditions for meagre wages. Often even those failed to materialise.

The men were left unable to service the debts they had accrued in raising the money to buy the chance of a better life. One was even threatened with having to have his kidney removed.

A confiscation order for £93,443 was granted at Fort William Sheriff Court today.

Procurator Fiscal for specialist casework Liam Murphy said: "Arefin took advantage of vulnerable people for his own financial gain, making significant amounts of money from the suffering of others. Our proceeds of crime team have been working to ensure that Arefin will not be able to keep the money he made by trafficking people into labour."

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