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The Civil Guard dismantles a criminal organization dedicated to trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation (28/11/2019)

They recruited victims in other provinces by offering them accommodation and work in Murcia to appropriate after their salary

In the three domiciliary registries practiced, 2,500 euros, jewels, a high-end vehicle, as well as documentation, accounts and bank cards of the victims have been seized

The Civil Guard of the Region of Murcia has developed the DRACU operation, an investigation aimed at clarifying an alleged crime of trafficking in human beings that has culminated in the dismantling of a criminal organization, whose three members have been arrested as alleged perpetrators of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation.

In the three domiciliary registries practiced in the town of Puerto de Mazarrón-Mazarrón, 2,500 euros, jewelry, a high-end vehicle, as well as documentation, accounts and bank cards of the victims have been seized.

The investigation began last July, when 13 Romanian citizens, settled in the town of Puerto de Mazarrón-Mazarrón, denounced before the Civil Guard the situation of semi-slavery in which they lived after having moved from other Spanish provinces to the Region of Murcia.

The victims claimed that they had been captured by a compatriot based in Murcia with a job and accommodation offer in a municipality in the Region, although this supposed benefactor, after providing them with employment in agricultural companies in Mazarrón, was appropriating their salaries and kept them frightened under threats and physical aggressions.

This situation became extreme, to the point of lacking food and other essential goods.

While the investigation was underway, the Civil Guard activated the assistance protocol for victims of crimes of trafficking in human beings through the Social Services of the City Council of Mazarrón, which allowed their attention and reintegration into the workplace.

Specialists in Judicial Police of the Benemérita gathered the necessary information and focused the investigation on a family clan formed by a couple and their brother-in-law.

It was when the supposed leader of the clan moved to their country of origin, when the victims took the opportunity to communicate their unfortunate situation to the Civil Guard.

The investigations carried out below allowed us to find out that several of those affected had registered current accounts with banks in the area, although the postal address provided coincided with the address of the principal suspect, so that credit cards came directly to hands of the clan, as well as information about their income or extracts, which were controlled by them.

In this way they appropriated their payroll money.

After several months of investigation, the Civil Guard has located and detained two men and one woman, 31, 36 and 39, of Romanian nationality and members of the same family, to whom the alleged authorship of crimes of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation and belonging to a criminal organization.

Hierarchical criminal structure

According to the investigation, it is a perfectly organized criminal group, led by an individual who orchestrated the criminal plot with the selection of compatriots who offered to move to the Region of Murcia where they were assured of housing and a job.

Once here, they were housed in homes previously occupied by members of the criminal group, where they lived crammed despite paying up to 150 euros per month for rent.

Subsequently, with the excuse of processing employment contracts, he demanded his personal documentation that he used to register bank accounts and credit cards where his payrolls were domiciled.

For this he used his situation of vulnerability and his lack of knowledge of the language, even accompanying them to the bank branches to act as an interpreter and ensure that bank procedures were done as he pleased.

The rest of the members of the criminal group, now dismantled, were in charge of other tasks such as keeping workers under threat and aggression and even monitoring their workday and informing the leader of any vicissitude that, generally, was presented as in charge of a group of workers and responsible for them, while the contracting companies remained oblivious to these arguments.

The three arrested, the errands, as well as the money, jewels, documentation and vehicle seized have been made available to the Court of Instruction number 4 of Totana.

The investigation remains open, so the identification of other victims is not ruled out, as is the detention of other persons linked to the dismantled criminal group.

Trafficking in human beings is punishable by the current Criminal Code with prison sentences of five to eight years.

Source: Ministerio del Interior

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