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Spanish police uncover human trafficking operation onboard livestock carrier

Spanish police arrested the captain of a livestock carrier which arrived in Cartagena from Libya on Saturday, cracking a human trafficking case.

A Guardia Civil team found eight Syrians onboard who had been working as forced labour, without the right training or documents.

The Syrians has been working on the ship under “exploitative labour conditions” for several months, Spanish police said. Many had paid up to EUR13,000 for a promised transfer to Europe, but were subsequently forced to work at sea.

“Collaboration between European agencies revealed that the … ship would have changed its name up to three times, making it difficult to track and monitor,” the Guardia Civil said.

The ship’s captain was arrested on suspicion of belonging to a criminal organisation, violating the rights of foreign citizens, and falsifying official documents.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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