Europe

Romania: 38 detained over 'slaves' chained up, forced to beg

  • 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)

  • A woman shows bruises on a man's body, allegedly from being hit by gendarmes, in Gamacesti, Romania,Thursday, July 14, 2016, a day after a large police raid on the homes of people suspected of enslaving vulnerable individuals took place in the village. Authorities in Romania have formally detained 38 people, after a raid Wednesday in a rural mountain town on the homes of suspects, on suspicion they took dozens of vulnerable individuals as slaves, kidnapped, chained them up, and forced them to work or fight each other for entertainment. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    A woman shows bruises on a man's body, allegedly from being hit by gendarmes, in Gamacesti, Romania,Thursday, July 14, 2016, a day after a large police raid on the homes of people suspected of enslaving vulnerable individuals took place in the village. Authorities in Romania have formally detained 38 people, after a raid Wednesday in a rural mountain town on the homes of suspects, on suspicion they took dozens of vulnerable individuals as slaves, kidnapped, chained them up, and forced them to work or fight each other for entertainment. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

Authorities in Romania have formally detained 38 people on suspicion they took dozens of vulnerable men and boys as slaves, kidnapped them and chained them up, and forced them to work or fight each other for entertainment.

Organized crime prosecutors said Thursday suspects were questioned through the night after a raid Wednesday in a rural mountain town on the homes of suspects — members of an extended Roma family.

The investigation involves some 90 suspects who authorities say exploited around 65 people with physical and mental disabilities or who were very poor, making them log wood, beg or look after animals.

Local child protection spokeswoman Iuliana Matei said Thursday that two victims and 19 children of suspects have been placed in care centers.