The National Police have arrested nine people in Los Alcázares (Murcia) as alleged perpetrators of the crimes of belonging to a criminal organisation, against workers’ rights, against foreign citizens, as well as forgery of documents and usurpation, informed sources of the Corps in a statement.
Last May, the Superior Police Headquarters of the Region became aware of the existence of a business network of bus transport and temporary work that had been carrying out its activities – some of them legal – for several years.
It seems that the owners of the companies under investigation were taking advantage of the situation of extreme need in which foreign nationals in an irregular situation found themselves in order to obtain cheap labour in exchange for significant financial gain.
These workers were deprived of basic labour and health rights, considerably reducing the cost of each worker as they carried out agricultural work in exchange for very low pay.
In this way, the companies set up a corporate framework to provide legal support for these criminal activities: the establishment of temporary employment agencies (ETTs) and advice from prestigious firms of economists, lawyers, consultants and managers, among others.
FROM THE BOSSES TO THE LOWEST ECHELON, ALL OF THEM ARRESTED
The investigation revealed the existence of a criminal organisation dedicated to and specialised in the labour exploitation of illegal immigrants, as well as in the employment and repeated occupation of foreign citizens who lacked work permits.
These companies were run by the so-called ‘bosses of the organisation’, two Spanish men aged 45 and 47, who surrounded themselves with people they trusted: an economic manager and personnel managers, who maintained a direct relationship with the ‘bosses of the gangs’ and even with the workers.
The investigators were able to establish that the numerous buses transporting workers from the company to the countryside were carrying, mixed with workers with work permits and legally employed, others who, on the contrary, were in an irregular situation in Spain, without a work permit and, therefore, without authorisation to be employed.
With sufficient incriminating evidence, the Unit Against Illegal Immigration Networks and Documentary Falsity (UCRIF) of the National Police has proceeded to the arrest of the main suspects and their subsequent submission to the judicial authorities.