ROME – Police in Italy have arrested five Romanians for allegedly exploiting other Romanians as unpaid farmworkers and prostitutes.
Ragusa, Sicily, police on Wednesday said that minors and the elderly were among those exploited.
Investigators say the 13 workers, some of them illiterate or homeless, were tricked into thinking they were agreeing to come to Italy for properly paid jobs and housing. Police say they were given rotten food, clothes picked out of trash containers and unheated housing.
Police official Antonino Ciavola said minor girls were also forced into prostitution.
Police added that violence was inflicted on those who tried to rebel. Eventually, a Romanian worker went to the police.
Those arrested were jailed for investigation of suspected human trafficking, exploitation of prostitutes and sexual exploitation of minors.