Landlord enslaved tenants 'for their own good'

A landlord accused of enslaving his tenants and forcing them to work in this takeaway businesses claims he did them ‘a lot of good’.

Hargit Bariana, currently facing trial at Newcastle Crown Court, allegedly forced his tenants to work at his businesses, threatening to beat them is they failed to carry out his requests. He claims that he encouraged the men, who he claims were all alcoholics or drug users who would have been homeless if it wasn’t for him, to ‘complain to police about him’ if they felt they were being poorly treated.

He currently denies eight charges of modern slavery, robbery and supplying drug Diazepam, and claims he showed the men compassion.

He stated that: ‘All of them in their heart know I have done a lot of good for them.’

‘I used to care about them.’

The trial has also heard how Mr Bariana rented his property to people who received housing benefit, making them work at various food outlets. Claims have been made that the tenants were unpaid, and fed leftovers, before being given Valium tablet to help them sleep.

The trial is ongoing.

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