Czech Mafia Ruthlessly Exploit Bulgarians, Romanians

Crime | February 4, 2010, Thursday // 16:56| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Czech Mafia Ruthlessly Exploit Bulgarians, Romanians The Czech mafia are exploiting Bulgarian and Romanian workers, forcing them into menial labor and even prostitution, according to a Czech NGO report backed by Czech police. File photo

A report published by local Czech non-governmental organizations and specialist Czech police departments has revealed mafia exploitation of Bulgarians and Romanians.

The documents, announced on Thursday, claims that a significant increase in human trafficking from Bulgaria and Romania for cheap labor has been observed, with the citizens of both countries being turned into true slaves.

After the accession of both countries to the European Union in 2007, "the importation of a work force from Romania and Bulgaria" increased dramatically due to the lack of a required work permit in the Czech Republic for the those citizens.

"This criminal business turned out to be very profitable for the local mafia, which makes millions of Euros a year", said the report

Czech criminals use go-between agencies that promise employment to the foreign workers. Moreover, they take money from such candidate-immigrants. Once they arrive in the Czech Republic, the criminals force them to work at very minimal wages.

In the early 1990s, the Czech mafia exploited the citizens of Ukraine, Moldova, Vietnam and Mongolia, but in recent years the criminal network has redirected itself towards Bulgaria and Romania.

According to official figures, in 2009, 4 578 workers from Bulgaria and 3 789 from Romania were registered in the Czech Republic.

"In most cases, foreigners are used for hard physical labor, for work on agricultural sites, and some of them are forced into prostitution," said Romulus Ungureanu, of the Romanian Directorate for Combating Human Trafficking, according to the newspaper "24 ore".

He also announced that there are people with higher education who are being forced to work for EUR 7,5 per week in the Czech Republic. “They invariably work seven days a week,” said Ungureanu.

In most cases, these people refuse to return home because their relatives think they are making good money. In addition, they must also return the money they took for their journey to the Czech Republic.

These workers also refuse to testify before the justice authorities in the Czech Republic because of fear and their cruel exploitation. This in turn obstructs any investigation by the relevant authorities.

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