U.K. and Romania Crack Down on Labour Exploitation Ring
In a join operation, Romanian and British authorities saved over 50 victims of labour exploitation, charged 11 and identified another 18 people suspected of belonging to a Romanian-based organized criminal group, Eurojust reported last week.
The suspects are charged with bringing to the U.K. close to 55 people from Romania, among whom were several minors from poor families. The victims were forced to live in extremely poor conditions and work on construction sites without pay.
Officers have conducted 15 searches in both countries and have seized property and cash worth about 250,000 euro (US$290,000), to secure the victim’s claims, the press release said.
The same group is under investigation for bringing 80 victims to the U.K. in 2015. Those too had been promised well-paid jobs but once in the U.K., they were subjected to violence and forced to work on construction sites for a low pay. They had to live in inadequate housing and often ate from garbage cans.
In addition, upon the victims’ arrival, the suspects would take their documents and only occasionally give them back to avoid police controls. This made it impossible for victims to escape.