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Man held for smuggling berry pickers to Sweden

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Man held for smuggling berry pickers to Sweden
15:22 CEST+02:00
A man was arrested and detained by police Thursday on suspicion of people-smuggling after berry pickers in eastern Sweden claimed they were tricked into coming to the country.

The man, a 43-year-old Bulgarian resident, was arrested at 7.30pm on Thursday after allegedly luring other Bulgarians into coming to Sweden with the promises of a salary, a home, and a job.

However, the workers have ended up in a campsite in Mehedeby, south of Gävle, with no running water or bathroom facilities.

The camp was set up with permission from the land owner and is now home to several hundred berry pickers, most of whom are from Bulgaria.

“The three people who made the report are from Bularia and were given promises about coming to Sweden and picking berries. They were told they would get paid, live in an apartment, and get food,” explained Christer Nordström of the Uppsala police to the TT news agency.

“When they arrived, they were given neither an apartment nor food and made to live at a campsite.”

The man has been interrogated by police, but they would not disclose further information.

“I can't go into any details. We'll see how it all pans out,” Nordström told the local Upsala Nya Tidning newspaper.

The arrest comes following several days of rising tensions between the berry pickers living at the makeshift camp and local residents, many of whom have complained about the camp.

Police were called to the camp around 2am on Thursday morning after receiving reports that some of the berry pickers living at the camp had been targeted in a rock-throwing attack.

TT/The Local/og

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