LISBON: Portuguese aut­h­orities have arrested 35 people in the south of the country for alleged human trafficking, money laundering and falsifying documents, police announced on Wednesday.

“The suspects are part of a criminal structure dedicated to the exploitation of migrant workers, most of whom have been lured from their home countries to work on farms” in the Alentejo region, police said.

The suspects, both men and women from Portugal and elsewhere in Europe, are aged between 22 and 58, the police added without giving further details.

The dozens of victims of human trafficking who have been identified come from Algeria, India, Moldova, Morocco, Pakistan, Romania and Senegal, according to the authorities.

“These migrants were working in inhumane conditions with very low wages and living in dilapidated houses,” a police source said.

“They were also restricted in their movement as their identity documents were confiscated,” added the source, who described the scale of the arrests as “unusual” in a region that employs many migrant workers in the agricultural sector.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2022

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