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Romanian Slavery: Dozens Held on Suspicion of Keeping Men in Chains

by The Associated Press /
A Romanian police handout video released Wednesday shows a chained man in the village of Berevoiesti, Romania.AP

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 An image taken from a video released by police on Wednesday shows a chained man in the village of Berevoiesti, Romania. AP

Dozens of people have been arrested in Romania on suspicion they took vulnerable men and boys as slaves, kidnapped them and chained them up, officials said Thursday.

The 38 suspects are accused of forcing their alleged victims to work or fight each other for entertainment.

Organized crime prosecutors said the suspects were questioned through the night after a raid Wednesday in a rural mountain town on the homes of suspects — members of an extended Roma family.

Investigators say around 65 people with physical and mental disabilities or who were very poor were exploited. The victims were made to log wood, beg or look after animals.

Local child protection spokeswoman Iuliana Matei said Thursday that two victims and 19 children of suspects have been placed in care centers.

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