Five Bulgarian Roma were arrested yesterday morning by officers from the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Thessaloniki Police Department following an investigation by the first instance court into possible exploitation of minors.
The detainees, as well as two of their compatriot accomplices, whose identities have already been established, have been prosecuted for professional trafficking in persons.
The investigation revealed that two of the arrested couples forced their minor children to beg every day (alone or under supervision), and in some cases “rented out” to their accomplices.
Minors who were forced to beg for hours did not go to school, did not eat well, and slept on the sidewalks, which endangered their physical integrity.
At the same time, the criminals, according to Thestival, lived a life that did not correspond to their activities as beggars, since they themselves received financial benefits from the labor exploitation of children. They were always well dressed and went to taverns and casinos in neighboring countries.
In the course of operational measures, 12 mobile phones, which they used for communication, credit cards and a certain amount of money were confiscated. The arrested were taken to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Criminal Court of Thessaloniki, and the minor children were transferred to the structures to provide appropriate assistance.