dismantled a network of traffickers of migrant workers
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In Portugal, a raid on farms in the south of the country has dismantled a network of traffickers of immigrant workers, who live in semi-slavery. Thirty-five people were arrested.
With our correspondent in Lisbon, marie line darcy
The repression has been carefully prepared since last January: 400 police officers and gendarmes have mobilized to intervene in Alentejo, in central Portugal, where there are large labor-intensive farms. A highly sophisticated network of smugglers has been dismantled.
Led by a couple of Romanians, the network included a dozen Portuguese who served as intermediaries on the estates to hire recruited immigrants who fell under their influence. Confiscated papers, wages reduced to 5 or 10 euros a day, psychological and physical abuse forced immigrants to live in a situation of virtual slavery.
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Priority to relocation
Thus, at least 200 workers from countries as diverse as Nepal, India, Moldova, East Timor or Morocco, victims of the network, were discovered. Their living conditions were absolutely deplorable. These immigrants, for the most part, want to continue working on the farms. But we are entering the winter period and employment contracts are suspended. The priority for the authorities and self-help associations is now to be able to rehouse these workers with dignity.