It was reported on 26th June that the Judicial Police have conducted a nationwide operation to combat human trafficking, slavery, abduction and kidnapping for the purpose of labour exploitation. These have taken place in various locations in the districts of Beja, Faro and Guarda, as well as in Spain.

As a result seven persons were arrested (five men and two women), strongly suspected on being involved for these crimes. Two others were also arrested during the operation for other offences including possession of prohibited weapons offenses.

This action was taken in the development of several investigations that have been initiated by the Judicial Police and have revealed a broad range of criminal activities in National and Spanish territory.

From the investigation evidence has been gathered showing that six persons have been recruited by those arrested to work in agriculture and construction industry who offered them work in return a daily amount in cash, lodging, transportation and food. Nevertheless, contrary to what they had been offered they have been forced to work unpaid and were subject to threats and abuse. Evidence gathered showed that the victims were treated poorly and as “mere merchandise”.