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

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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.