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

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.