Romanian police raid 'slavery' village, investigate 90 suspects

BUCHAREST (AFP) - Inhabitants of a village in southern Romania kidnapped dozens of vulnerable young men and boys and took them into modern-day slavery, chaining, abusing and humiliating them, authorities said.

Police carried out a large-scale raid on Berevoiesti, 170km north of Bucharest, on Wednesday and freed five people including two minors. They are investigating around 90 suspects.

The captives were "attached with chains and straps... beaten (and) humiliated", starved of food and fed on scraps, prosecutors from the DIICOT organised crime investigation unit said.

Around 40 victims were "captured in public places, near churches or train stations, or at their homes" since 2008 and forced to do household chores, look after animals and do illegal logging, prosecutors said.