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Police arrest 32 in 'human trafficking' raid

Published: 14 Oct 2011 10:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Oct 2011 10:29 GMT+02:00

Swedish police arrested 32 people in a raid on a food factory south of Stockholm on Thursday for violations of the Aliens Act.

Police now suspect that many of the arrested workers could have been victims of human trafficking.

"That was not in our minds when we started, but after interviews we are having a closer look," said Stefan Hagberg at the Swedish border police told the Aftonbladet daily.

Police officers raided the factory just as many were arriving for work at 8am on Thursday.

The premises belongs to Eat Food Factory Europa AB, one of Scandinavia's largest producers of chilled ready-meals and a supplier to, among others, Coop, Lidl, SJ, SAS and Mat på jobbet.

According to Aftonbladet the majority of those arrested in the raid come from Uzbekistan or other former Soviet republics.

When the police arrived at the factory in Jordbro south of Stockholm there were 54 people working in the factory, 32 were detained and taken from the premises.

Eat Food Factory's owner Murat Korkmaz played down the significance of the raid.

"There is nothing untoward. The police often carry out these kinds of checks. They are just checking that the identity papers in the the employees' paper checks out," he said to Aftonbladet.

Korkmaz told the newspaper he felt let down by his employees, claiming they tricked him with false papers.

The raid isn't the first time the company has been hit with suspicions of sub-standard labour practices.

In 2008, when the company was called Mo Catering, workers described how asylum seekers and undocumented workers were forced to work under “slave-like” conditions.

However, the accusations were denied by company officials, who claimed the complaints were unfounded.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:28 October 14, 2011 by jonathanjames61
Those who holds LMA and ATUND cards should apply immidiately.
12:14 October 14, 2011 by BeHiNdScEnE
@jonathanjames61, your mom was working in that factory!!!
12:16 October 14, 2011 by canuk
yes a word commonly used in the english language: untoward
15:52 October 14, 2011 by Migga
Second story this week about immigrant men who import illegal workers from abroad to live as slaves. Glad to see that the system is picking up on these criminals.
19:08 October 14, 2011 by Grokh
police should do this more often im sure they would catch way more.
01:15 October 17, 2011 by esvahnt
each of these 32 will bring 7 or 8 "relatives " and their own relatives and so on

so they will turn by the thousands in a few years

isnt it enough with 2.000.000 third world new swedes ?

integrationist ,please have mercy
08:26 October 17, 2011 by rise
@ esvahnt

It won't be enough for as long as our leaders are thinking it's giving themselves and Sweden a nice and shiny face outwards. It's not like THEY are living in the same areas as the so called refugees. They are however getting imagined popularity and shine on themselves. :P
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