Agents of the Spanish National Police arrested 7 people in Murcia, 5 men and 2 women, all of Spanish nationality, for crimes against workers' rights and for facilitating illegal immigration.
The Unit Against Immigration Networks and Document Forgery (Ucrif) followed the trail of a company that was suspected of recruiting foreign citizens in an irregular situation, taking advantage of their precarious situation to offer them work in the warehouse of a fruit and vegetable company located in the area of Cobatillas.
Two inspections were carried out in less than a month at the same warehouse, where workers were subjected to abusive working conditions.
The first of the inspections, carried out jointly by the National Police and the Murcia Labor Inspectorate, took place on July 8. 36 workers were identified in the warehouse of the company under investigation, including 20 Moroccan citizens, all in an irregular situation, working under very questionable hygienic conditions. Large amounts of fruit and vegetable products (onions) were all over the floor and the entrance of the warehouse, some of them rotting and giving off a strong and unpleasant smell.
In the second inspection, carried out on August 3, 38 people were identified, with 18 workers in an irregular situation. 11 of them had already been identified in the first inspection. The company had continued to exploit them in the same warehouse.
Without breaks, without vacations and without work material
The Ucrif agents found that the exploited victims were paid based on their work, without the right to vacations and forced to buy their own work material. The salary amounted to around 300 Euro per month, as long as they met the goals set by the exploiter.
Within the framework of the investigation, the National Police has issued a request to the judicial authority to temporarily close the warehouse and ensure the cease of its activities
The operation came to a close with 34 people arrested, 27 of them for infringement of immigration law. The list includes the top manager of the company, the warehouse manager and the workers' managers.