Europe

Romania probes 'slaves' kidnapped, chained, forced to beg

  • In this Wednesday, July 13, 2016 image taken from a Romanian Police handout video a chained man stands in the doorway of a house in the village of Berevoiesti, Romania. Dozens of vulnerable persons were kidnapped, chained up, whipped, fed scraps of food and forced into manual labor or fighting for entertainment over an eight-year period in rural southern Romania, prosecutors said Wednesday, with police rescuing three men and two boys aged 10-12 found chained up during searches at the homes of the suspects — members of an extended family.(DIICOT-Romanian Police via AP)

    In this Wednesday, July 13, 2016 image taken from a Romanian Police handout video a chained man stands in the doorway of a house in the village of Berevoiesti, Romania. Dozens of vulnerable persons were kidnapped, chained up, whipped, fed scraps of food and forced into manual labor or fighting for entertainment over an eight-year period in rural southern Romania, prosecutors said Wednesday, with police rescuing three men and two boys aged 10-12 found chained up during searches at the homes of the suspects — members of an extended family.(DIICOT-Romanian Police via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Wednesday, July 13, 2016 image taken from a Romanian Police handout video members of a special police unit walk on a road in the village of Berevoiesti, Romania. Dozens of vulnerable persons were kidnapped, chained up, whipped, fed scraps of food and forced into manual labor or fighting for entertainment over an eight-year period in rural southern Romania, prosecutors said Wednesday, with police rescuing three men and two boys aged 10-12 found chained up during searches at the homes of the suspects — members of an extended family. (DIICOT-Romanian Police via AP)

    In this Wednesday, July 13, 2016 image taken from a Romanian Police handout video members of a special police unit walk on a road in the village of Berevoiesti, Romania. Dozens of vulnerable persons were kidnapped, chained up, whipped, fed scraps of food and forced into manual labor or fighting for entertainment over an eight-year period in rural southern Romania, prosecutors said Wednesday, with police rescuing three men and two boys aged 10-12 found chained up during searches at the homes of the suspects — members of an extended family. (DIICOT-Romanian Police via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Wednesday, July 13, 2016 image taken from a Romanian Police handout video a chained man stands in the doorway of a house in the village of Berevoiesti, Romania. Dozens of vulnerable persons were kidnapped, chained up, whipped, fed scraps of food and forced into manual labor or fighting for entertainment over an eight-year period in rural southern Romania, prosecutors said Wednesday, with police rescuing three men and two boys aged 10-12 found chained up during searches at the homes of the suspects — members of an extended family.(DIICOT-Romanian Police via AP)

    In this Wednesday, July 13, 2016 image taken from a Romanian Police handout video a chained man stands in the doorway of a house in the village of Berevoiesti, Romania. Dozens of vulnerable persons were kidnapped, chained up, whipped, fed scraps of food and forced into manual labor or fighting for entertainment over an eight-year period in rural southern Romania, prosecutors said Wednesday, with police rescuing three men and two boys aged 10-12 found chained up during searches at the homes of the suspects — members of an extended family.(DIICOT-Romanian Police via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Romanian prosecutors say dozens of vulnerable people including children were kidnapped, chained up, fed scraps of food and forced into manual labor or fighting for entertainment over an eight-year period.

Organized crime prosecutors said Wednesday they are investigating 40 suspects who they say tricked, forced or kidnapped some 40 people with disabilities or who were very poor, and made them chop wood, beg or look after animals.

A statement said some victims were snatched from railway and bus stations, outside churches or even from their own homes. It said the captured people were sometimes held in chains or locked up, beaten and threatened, underfed or made to eat off the ground, and coerced into fighting each other for entertainment.