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Harrogate trio see jail terms increase


Three Harrogate curry house owners who trafficked in overseas staff that were forced to work ‘like slaves’ in their restaurant have had their ‘unduly lenient’ jail terms increased.


Perveen Khan was originally jailed for three years alongside her two sons, Raza Ali Khan and Shahnawaz Ali Khan, after they were convicted of people trafficking at Leeds Crown Court in March. They recruited nine men from southern Asia and the Middle East with false promises of secure and well-paid work at the Rajput Restaurant in Harrogate.


At London’s Appeal Court, Solicitor General, Edward Garnier QC, challenged the trio’s sentences as far too short for a persistent campaign of exploitation against vulner- able victims, including threats, coercion, bullying, restric- tion of liberty and excessive working hours. Lord Justice Pitchford agreed that the sentences imposed on Raza and Shahnawaz Khan were too short and increased them to four years. Perveen Khan only escaped having her jail term upped because of issues with her mental health.


Restaurant workers would be escorted to Harrogate after being met at the airport and their passports confiscated. Deductions would be made from their pay packets to cover “bond money” and they were subjected to threats, abuse and insults, and forced to work 12 hours or more each day, the court heard.


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