Romanian Owned Company Exploiting Moldovans in France
Arresting 38 suspects, police busted last week a suspected labor exploitation group in France, allegedly operated by Romanian nationals, according to a Eurojust press release.
French, Romainian, and Moldovan authorities accused the group of trafficking Moldovans to France for illegal labor on construction sites, providing falsified EU identification documents, and laundering profits of the trafficking, the statement said.
The Romainain-owned string of French construction companies was suspected of employing 100-500 illegal Moldovan workers.The criminal organization allegedly took its victims’ original identification documents and replaced them with fake Romaininan IDs.
Workers were reported to have made the French minimum wage, but authorities said they worked well beyond the maximum 35 hours per week.
Two years ago, after uncovering in France a van filled with irregular Moldovan migrants carrying fake Romanian passports, police began an investigation into the criminal group which is suspected of smuggling at least 40 migrants into the country. Investigators estimate that illegal profits amount to almost 14 million euro (around US$16.8 million) that the group allegedly laundered through eight shell companies based in France, according to a Europol press statement.
Eurojust coordinated the actions carried out last week in which 51 locations were searched in France, Moldova and Romania. Investigators confiscated 15 luxury cars, two jet skis, weapons, 100,000 euro (over $120,000) in cash, and froze 11 bank accounts.