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Spain – Thirteen arrested for exploiting farm workers

06 February 2012

Thirteen have been arrested last night in Spain over allegations made against them of exploiting more than 150 seasonal workers, as the newspaper Levante-EMV reports. Those arrested will appear before the court for allegedly being part of a “dedicated network of labour exploitation” that has seen the rights of at least 150 migrant farm workers abused. 

A joint operation between the Spanish Civil Guard and the Swedish National Police has unveiled the extent of this illegal network that exploited Bulgarian and Romanian workers who had obtained contracts through the temporary employment agencies Empresas de Trabajo Temporal (ETT) and  Safor y la Ribera. 

The agency workers are alleged to have worked irregular and long hours, and have lived in unsanitary and “overcrowded” housing conditions. They are also said to have been charged unreasonable and extra fees for rental payments.

The thirteen detainees are Romanian and Bulgarian nationals. Court procedures commenced last night and the verdict will be made public once all detainees have appeared in court. 

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