21 children in the white slavery case in Berevoiesti, Arges were taken to the foster homes. Two are victims of the human trafficking case revealed on Wednesday, while the other 19 are the children of the traffickers who had been remanded by the investigators.
37 in those 38 people taken into custody on Wednesday night have been arrested by the Arges Tribunal on Thursday evening. Among the suspects there is a woman who is under house arrest for she has to undergo dialysis.
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 deprived of their freedom.
At least five of the victims have been found in chains during searches on Wednesday.
The victims were threatened and fisted, or beaten with the whip or other blunt objects. The victims were permanently watched by the members of the group, they were practically deprived of their freedom.
In the case of one child, the prosecutors say he has been kidnapped in October 2015. “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.
Amid the revolt this case stirred in Romania and abroad, as international media also reported about it, the mayor of the Berevoiesti village, where the savage actions had been happening for 8 years, said he did not know about this case.
Mayor Florin Proca claims he was not aware of such practices in his village, informing that he will send mixed teams in all households in the village to conduct more searches.
“I have never known there were chained people in cages in Brevoiesti. If any person had seen such thing, he would have definitely called 112. Last year, we filed a notification to the police for the suspicions that there are people in the locality working with no papers. The Social Assistance had this suspicion. We have not received any answer so far, probably the recent searches are the answer of our notification,” the mayor told Mediafax.
M10 party asked PM Ciolos to sack the prefect of Arges, the police heads in the county and in the villages where the white slavery gangs used to activate.
More about the case is available here.