The federal police have been active in five states since early Wednesday morning for house searches in connection with the illegal smuggling of workers for the meat industry.
About 800 officers are located mainly in Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony, a federal police spokesman in central Germany said Wednesday. There are also searches in Berlin, Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.
According to the federal police, more than 40 residential and commercial properties are searched. The accused companies are said to have brought people from Eastern Europe to Germany with forged or forged documents. A special committee has been investigating this since April 2020. The Halle public prosecutor’s office and its branch in Naumburg are responsible.
[Wenn Sie aktuelle Nachrichten live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere runderneuerte App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
According to the federal police, the investigations are against 10 prime suspects between the ages of 41 and 56. Among them are eight men and two women. It’s about the allegation of gang smuggling and commercial smuggling and forgery of documents.
Two companies are accused of acting independently but following the same pattern. They are said to have mainly brought Romanian people to Germany with false documents. They would have supported them with visits to the authorities, organized housing and transport for them, but also withheld these services from their wages. According to the information, the researchers seized values of 1.5 million euros. The illegally entered temporary workers are threatened with deportation from Germany.
After frequent corona infections in meat factories, the working conditions in the industry and the housing of foreign workers came into the picture again. This led to a national discussion about working conditions in the industry.
On September 10, the Bundestag discussed the so-called Occupational Safety and Health Control Act at first reading. This states that core activities in the meat industry such as slaughtering, cutting and processing may no longer be performed by external employees. Work contracts and temporary work should be banned in the industry from 2021. (dpa)