According to local media outlets, La Spezia's Guardia di Finanza (finance police) has carried out eight arrests and seized over 900,000 euros in connection with an investigation into a criminal recruitment gang operating between La Spezia, Savona, Ancona and Carrara.

The reports state that several dozen workers, said to be immigrants from Bangladesh, were being exploited by a company that operates in shipyards building luxury yachts in La Spezia.

Following an extensive investigation, the GDF allegedly gathered evidence of workers being threatened, beaten and paid between four or five euros per hour to work gruelling shifts of up to 14 hours a day, carrying out activities in shipyards such as welding and painting. It was also reported that, in cases of illness, including suspected COVID-19 cases, the workers were forced to continue working or not receive any payment.

Another media outlet has reported that the shipyards in which the subcontracted workers were operating did not know about the exploitation taking place at their facilities and, following the investigation, are working in full cooperation with the authorities.


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