The Civil Guard releases 8 victims of human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation

Two people have been arrested and two others have been investigated. The investigation is still open

The investigation has been carried out jointly with the Lithuanian Police, who alerted the Civil Guard that several of their nationals could be being exploited in the province of Valencia.

The actions have been oriented towards the protection and assistance of victims exploited by traffickers who form international criminal networks and who take advantage of the special vulnerability of these people.

The cooperation of the entrepreneurs has been essential for the success of the investigation and the final arrest of the authors.

The Civil Guard, together with the Lithuanian Police, has developed an investigation that is still open and that has allowed the arrest of two people for the commission of crimes of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation and the release of eight victims. Both the detainees and the victims, who were employed in agricultural fruit harvesting campaigns, are of Lithuanian origin.

The organizations captured their victims using their vulnerability (ignorance of the language, scarce economic resources, social isolation, etc …), processed the documentation, personal and bank, and mediated for their contracting with the fruit harvesting companies. However, later and under threat and with the aim of preventing the complaint and limiting their ability to flee their situation, they kept their bank cards and cards, in addition to employment contracts and personal documentation.

The two detainees (a man and a woman) subjected the victims to tight control, provided them with accommodation in subhuman conditions, inflicting physical mistreatment, threats, coercion and emotional abuse. In addition, they made fraudulent use of the cards in their bank accounts to extract the money from their wages.

The collaboration offered by the company for which the victims worked has been fundamental to the success of the operation, which was unaware of the conditions to which they were subjected by the traffickers after the end of the working day, providing documentation and data that have been essential for the development of it.

The eight victims who have been released and identified, are between 29 and 44 years old, and have already been assisted and housed with the collaboration of the NGO Cruz Blanca, which has also taken charge of legal advice to them.

Three registries have been carried out in which numerous personal documentation of the victims has been intervened (national identity documents of their country, as well as NIE applications), notepads about work and what they were paid, cards and cards banking; more than € 10,400 in cash from wages withheld from victims and a van.

Trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation

The agrarian sphere is one of the sectors where criminal groups dedicated to trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation try to carry out their activity.

Especially sensitive are the different campaigns to collect agricultural products on farms, which generate a great demand for temporary workers concentrated in seasonal periods.

Trafficking organizations capture their victims through deceit, being usually foreigners (community and from third countries) who are already in Spain or directly in their countries of origin to be exploited and illicitly benefit from their work in the field.

Action of the Civil Guard before Trafficking

Trafficking in human beings, in any of its aspects, constitutes a priority for the Civil Guard and its comprehensive action capabilities make it an international benchmark in the fight against this phenomenon.

In addition to working together with institutions and organizations such as the UN, the Council of Europe or EUROPOL, taking as a special orientation the consideration of the Human Trafficking as one of the priority areas (EMPACT) of the Political Cycle of the European Union, it also collaborates bilaterally with police agencies and bodies from different countries, in this case with the Lithuanian Police.

On the other hand, the Civil Guard faces its action towards the protection, assistance and recovery of victims, for which it works with the essential help of the institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of social assistance.

During the year 2020, the Civil Guard has carried out, together with the Labor and Social Security Inspection, a total of 471 preventive inspections in places where there may be victims of labor or sexual exploitation, or human trafficking for such purposes. They have also carried out 10 investigations, in which a total of 55 victims have been released and 29 traffickers have been detained.

For more information you can contact the Valencia Civil Guard Peripheral Communication Office on the phone 963174660 ext 379 or 690946837.


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