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Hundreds of Poles Forced into Crime in Sweden

Published måndag 27 mars 2006 kl 11.40

Swedish media reports that some 100 people from Poland have been tricked into a life of crime in Sweden in the past year on the pretence that they were being offered jobs here.

Newspaper, Sydsvenskan reports that the Poles travelled to the southern Swedish city of Malmö after being offered jobs by a ring of human traffickers.  On arrival they were forced to hand over their passports and ordered to steal from shops.  Those who refused to cooperate are reported to have been beaten, burned with lighters and locked away. 

The paper reports that, last week alone, the Malmö district court heard five cases of Poles arrested for shoplifting who claimed to be victims of the trafficking ring.  The trafficking ring is allegedly organised by a handful of families in Malmö.

Polish authorities are aware of the problem and the government has posted warnings on its website.

On March 10, police arrested a 20-year-old believed to be one of the organisers and according to the paper; his trial is to begin shortly.

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