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Spain arrests dozens on migrant worker exploitation charges

Police in Spain have arrested 43 people accused of exploiting irregular migrants for cheap labor in the Malaga province. The criminal gang reportedly had some of the workers living under inhumane conditions in properties that belonged to the organization.

Spanish police conducted search operations involving seven agricultural businesses, which are alleged to have been involved in the scheme. Investigators also raided four homes during the sting, seizing more than €50,000 in cash as well as securing mobile phones and documents related to the alleged scheme, according to the online news platform Olive Press.

Authorities believe that a notary and a lawyer also helped carry out the racket, as they found fake documents for the workers, claiming they were earning up to €3,000 a month.

The fictitious work contracts were supposed to regularize their situation by obtaining or renewing residence and work permits; this was also supposed to allow them to fraudulently pay Social Security contributions and access various benefits.

Most of the victims were Moroccans without official papers in Spain, said Olive Press.

Multiple crimes

The investigation had reportedly started two months ago already after the Foreigners’ Office had received a tip-off.

“Taking advantage of their needs and the lack of a residence and work permit, the network presented these workers to the labor administrations with the identities of other foreign citizens who were in a legal situation in the country,” the National Police said.

Investigators believe that the companies involved could also be committing various acts of tax fraud.

Source : InfoMigrants