167 Bulgarians - Victims of Labor Exploitation in France
Three Bulgarians and one Frenchman were detained in the French city of Lyon after police officers busted a labor exploitation network.
167 Bulgarians, victims of modern-day slavery, have been hired to harvest grapes for four producers in Burgundy. Simultaneously with the operation of the French police, searches and interrogations were carried out also in Bulgaria, in the presence of investigators from the country, local media reported.
The workers were hired through a legally operating employment agency in Bulgaria. They were promised EUR 60 per day, with transport and housing costs covered. However, Bulgarians were accommodated in camping, with food costs deducted from their salaries.
After the end of the contracts, most of the workers didn’t have enough money to return to their homes. The investigation began in late 2018, when seasonal workers complained about the poor working conditions after returning to Bulgaria. More than 80 investigators, including Europol officials, have worked to find the operation network.
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