The PJ announced the arrest in Spain of a Portuguese couple “heavily indicted” of human trafficking and slavery, in an operation that also resulted in the release of more than 30 citizens of various nationalities.
In a statement, the Northern Board of the PJ said that the victims had mostly “a profile of economic and mental weakness”, as well as suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction.
“They were recruited in the north of the country, namely in the areas of Greater Porto, to provide services in the area of agriculture in the region of Logroño, Spain, under false promises of remuneration and labor benefits,” he adds.
On 9th March 2017, a police operation was launched, simultaneously in Portugal and Spain, aimed at dismantling that illicit activity.
In coordination with the Spanish police authorities and in the context of compliance with a letter rogatory, two Portuguese nationals were detained as “the two main perpetrators”.
This operation in Spain also resulted in the release of more than 30 citizens of Portuguese, Algerian, Guinean, Nigerian, Egyptian, Romanian and Russian nationalities, some of whom are in an illegal situation in that country. Some of the victims were sent by the Spanish authorities to the emergency and social support services to return to their countries of origin.
In Portugal, home searches were carried out in Minho and Trás-os-Montes, aiming essentially at collectors / collaborators and relatives of the detained couple in Spain.
In these searches, two men and one woman were found, and various documents, including firearms and ammunition, were seized.
The two detainees will be presented to the National Court in Madrid, with a view to their extradition to Portugal