Dismantled a criminal organization dedicated to Human Trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation

Eight people have been arrested in Sanlúcar la Mayor and ten people freed, including one under 15 years of age in an advanced state of pregnancy

The detainees took advantage of the situation of vulnerability and need of the victims to deceive them with promises of work and working conditions that did not correspond to reality

The detainees are members of the same family of Romanian nationality who exercised permanent control over the victims

In the records carried out in the town of Sanlúcar la Mayor, it has been possible to verify how the victims lived together in crowded rooms and in unsanitary conditions

The Civil Guard and the National Police, in a joint operation with the Romanian Police, have dismantled a criminal organization dedicated to trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation in very extreme conditions. A total of eight people from the same family have been arrested in the Sevillian town of Sanlúcar la Mayor for capturing people in Romania to exploit them in agricultural work. The victims came to Spain under the promise of decent work and prosperous living conditions, but the group's members took advantage of their vulnerability and need to subject them to harsh working conditions. Among the ten people released, there is one under 15 years of age in an advanced state of pregnancy.

The origin of the investigation dates back to the month of June 2019 when it became aware of two complaints filed by two victims in the towns of Villena (Alicante) and Coria del Rio (Seville). Although the complaints seemed to be unrelated due to the large spatial and temporal margin, the investigators found links such as the modus operandi used to attract the victims, the nationality of the perpetrators, as well as coincidences in places where they were held and exploited for work. among others. It was then that the agents of both police forces joined forces to coordinate and investigate the events, the information provided by the Romanian Police through the Division of International Cooperation by the Interior Attaché is essential for the success of the investigation.

Subject to strict surveillance and control, withdrawing passports and mobile terminals

As a result of these information, it was found that since their arrival in Spain, their passport and mobile phone had been taken from them, and they were held on the upper floors of the homes occupied by the members of the organization. These people were also employed in agricultural work, imposing on them unfair working conditions of up to more than 10 hours a day and profiting from that situation of special vulnerability that they presented.

After an exhaustive investigation, the agents verified that those investigated belonged to a criminal organization formed by a perfectly structured family of Romanian nationality, which recruited workers at source for their labor exploitation on agricultural farms in the province of Seville. Each person contracted with the organization a debt of 500 euros to formalize the employment situation, as well as food and accommodation expenses, which were discounted from the precarious salary that they did not receive when having to pay the interest generated by the debt contracted. The members of the organization also adopted surveillance measures, completely isolating the victims, not allowing them to contact their relatives or leave the home without surveillance.

Release of ten people in inhumane conditions

With all this information available, on the 23rd the agents carried out two simultaneous searches in the framework of the Flowerpot-Litter operation in the Sevillian town of Sanlúcar la Mayor, proceeding to the arrest of eight people and obtaining the release of another ten who were They were crammed on dirty mattresses and blankets arranged on the floor, lacking electricity and hot water, showing the poor living and unsanitary conditions in which they lived together. Among those released, there was a girl under 15 years of age in a fairly advanced state of pregnancy.

In addition to the personal documentation of the victims, up to a total of 25 mobile phones that were turned off and sealed in a bag in the custody of the members of the organization, as well as other effects and storage devices of data.

The detainees are accused of alleged crimes of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation, belonging to a criminal organization, falsification of documents, and one of them also usurpation of civil status.

The Judicial Authority has decreed the entry into prison for three of the members of the organization.

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