Members of an international forced begging ring have been detained in Hungary in cooperation with police from Germany, Hungary, and Romania, the national bureau of investigation said on its website on Friday.
A woman has been apprehended in Fót, near Budapest, who was allegedly aware of her family members supporting themselves by forcing others to beg, and gave temporary accommodation to one such person, the website said.
An investigation revealed that at least eleven people had been forced to work as beggars in Germany and Austria, which generated over 200,000 euros over several years. One of them told police that Romanian perpetrators had forced her into slavery at an address in Romania where she was kept in a cellar and did not receive payment for work around the house.
Police held raids at another twelve locations where they detained three for alleged human smuggling. Electronic data carriers, one kilogram of gold, and around 90,000 euros in cash have been seized.
The investigation involving German, Hungarian, and Romanian police started in 2020 which revealed that Hungarian and Romanian citizens formed a criminal gang based on family relations. They looked for vulnerable people near railway stations in Romania and Hungary, mostly alcoholics and drug addicts, promising them seasonal work but then forcing them to get involved in begging.
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