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.