Stockholm mum acquitted of trafficking

The 47-year-old Stockholm mum, who last year was sentenced to prison after keeping Polish women under “slave-like conditions” has been acquitted of the trafficking charges by the Svea Court of Appeal (Hovrätten).

The Polish women, reported to be in their early twenties, were forced to work as cleaners and nannies for up to 19 hours per day, seven days a week in return for slave wages.

It was discovered at the time that the young women were housed in a cramped closet in a lavishly furnished three-bedroom apartment in the Stockholm suburb of Solna.

According to newspaper reports the young women were subjected to threats of violence and were forced to steal clothing and home decor on behalf of their employer who had originally promised them a monthly wage of 10,000 kronor ($1,400).

One of the women in fact received eight kronor a day for four months, while another received no money at all, according to the charge sheet.

The matter was brought to the attention of the police after one of the women was able to report the treatment to the Polish embassy in Stockholm.

However, the Court of Appeal found on Friday that although the woman had tricked the four Polish women to come and work for her in Sweden, paying them less than she had initially promised, it was not a case of human trafficking.

Instead the woman was convicted of fraud.

Instead of serving 2 years she will now have her sentence shortened to 10 months in prison.

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