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Disabled man victim of Bulgarian criminal group dealing with people trafficking

23 November 2009 / 11:11:20  GRReporter
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Eight member Bulgarian criminal group for people trafficking and exploitation was caught by the Athenian police after a relative of one of the victims alarmed the authorities. The sister of a disabled man, who was abducted and forced to beg for money in Greece, helped the local police to arrest the criminals.

The story starts from Rousse, where the man was a patient in the local hospital. In her testimony the sister described how two women and a man came to the hospital and offered to the disabled man to go to Greece and beg, in order to gather money for a prosthetic surgery faster. The man did not agree and after that he was kidnapped and forced to beg in Athens. His sister managed to gather information and started searching for him in Athens. She found him in poor condition to beg alms from passers-by in front of OTE building on the central street Patision.

After that the woman got in touch with the local authorities, who started an investigation. According to the authorities a man and a woman were periodically passing by, gathering the “profit” and changing their signs. The sister of the victims contacted the criminals and they said that they wanted €500 ransom in order to release her brother. The amount was provided by the authorities and during the exchange the police arrested the criminals. Victims of the criminals were 15 people, among who disabled, elderly and underage.

During another police raid arrested were the members of a Romanian mafia group, which imprisoned 44 people, 6 out of who are infants and 7 underage. In the two prison apartments the police found €1904 and different signs, which the beggars carried with them. The families were promised that once they arrive in Greece, they will have a home and a job. When they arrived from Bucharest they found out that there is no job and they were forced to beg.

Beggars in Greece reach 15 thousand people, who bring “turnover” of €200 to €300 thousand per day throughout the country. The criminal groups dealing with traffic and exploitation of people are from different nationalities – Bulgarians, Romanians, Pakistani, Afghans, etc. Except for begging the victims are forced to wash windshields and sell napkins, pens, flowers and much more on different intersections around the country. From the beginning of 2009 until October the Greek police have found eight big criminal groups and have arrested 30 people – 22 Bulgarians, 7 Romanians and one Greek. 

Tags: Human trafficking in Greece Beggars in Greece
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