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Chinese human trafficking ring broken in Barcelona
thinkSpain , Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Mossos d'Esquadra carried out a massive, coordinated raid in various districts of Cerdanyola, Pla d'En Boet, Eixample and La Habana de Mataró (Barcelona) today an operation against exploitation of workers and human trafficking.

Approximately 30 people, all Chinese, have been arrested in an operation involving over 750 members of the Catalan police force.

The coordinated raids began at 9.30 this morning on a total of 72 flats and commercial premises, where illegal Chinese immigrants were allegedly being kept in sub-human conditions.  Many of the premises house illegal textile companies.

All of the accused are charged with denying basic human rights to workers.  A number of victims of the human trafficking network were discovered and released during the police operation.

'Operation Wei', carried out in conjunction with the Special Prosecutor for Organised Crime, is still officially open, so there may well be more arrests yet to come.

Catalunya's Interior Minister, Joan Saura, told members of the press than some of those detained are yet to be identified. 

Talking about the scale of the operation, Saura said that, barring police presence to maintain public order, it was the biggest deployment of officers ever seen in Catalunya and 'sent a very clear message about the efficiency of the Mossos d'Esquadra in dealing with organised crime'.

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