14 white slavers out of those 38 arrested in the Berevoiesti slavery case were receiving social benefits, getting RON 250 to RON 500 on a monthly basis on the ground they were “extremely poor”.
Following checks conducted by the Arges Prefect’s Office, they found that at least 14 people among the traffickers were entitled to get this state aid.
“We don’t have final results yet, but I can say that there are eight files, 14 people out of those taken into custody were receiving social benefits. Some of them have got these aids for many years. The sums ranged from RON 250 to RON 500 per month,” Arges prefect Cristian Soare told Mediafax.
The mayor, secretary and social assistant in Berevoiesti village have been fined by the Arges Prefect’s Office.
“The mayor got three sanctions worht RON 7,500. The secretary of the mayor also got three fines, worth RON 7,500, while the social worker of the village received two fines worth RON 2,000. The mayor has been fined for not conducting social investigations in due time (…) There have been other irregularities, but these are the main tracked down. The check is still under way, while following more tracks. The preliminary results of the investigation will be available next Tuesday,” the prefect also informed.
The Arges Tribunal ruled last week that 37 in 38 defendants in this case should be taken into custody for 30 days. A 52-year-old woman, Maria Furdui was placed under house arrest, as she was dependent on dialysis. Yesterday, the Court of Appeal in Pitesti overruled the defendants’ appeals.
The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) says that starting 2008, several criminal groups have been set up, which have recruited about 40 minors and grown ups by constraint, misleading, kidnapping or by simply taking advantage of their vulnerable situations (they were either minors, disabled persons or extremely poor people). The traffickers used to exploit them, force them to make various works, make them beg. The victims were threatened and fisted, or beaten with the whip or other blunt objects. The victims were deprived of their freedom.
At least five of the victims have been found in chains during searches.
“The victim was permanently monitored, did not receive food every day, he was not allowed to leave the household alone, he was tied up during the night and he was subject of humiliating treatment: he was forced to dance, his eyebrows were shaved and he was forced to stay naked for the traffickers’ amusement,” reads the DIICOT file.
Another child found out following searches and taken to the foster home told investigators that women were sometimes more evil-minded than men. The minor recounted that the owner’s wife used to kick him on a daily basis and in order to punish him she used to grab flocks of hair with the flat pliers. Moreover, the boy has a broken ear after he had been tortured. The white slavers used to wet him with cold and hot water and burn his hands.
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