A Eurojust case of THB for labour exploitation (2013)

The authorities of member state A conducted criminal investigations into an organised crime group involved in trafficking in human beings (THB) for labour exploitation. Eurojust was asked to facilitate the coordination of the investigations.

The victims were brought from member state B to member state A. The suspects offered the victims jobs in member state A. The victims were promised a monthly salary of € 800 and free accommodation, requiring only an agency fee of € 150. Upon arrival, the workers were handed over to foreign work agents and were put in a position of dependence.

The employers were benefiting from the unfamiliarity of the victims with the job situation in member state A. Workers were exploited and forced to work illegally, mainly in the building industry. They were paid considerably less than the salary commonly paid for similar work.

Partners involved in the cooperation

During the course of the criminal investigation in member state A, a parallel criminal investigation by authorities in member state B into the same organised crime group became apparent. Eurojust was asked to facilitate the coordination of the investigations.

What made this case successful?

Eurojust helped to make the investigative and judicial cooperation between the authorities of the member states easier and quicker. Eurojust organised a coordination meeting during which the judicial authorities from member states A and B agreed to exchange information in real time and to coordinate.

The measures foreseen included the setting up of a joint investigation team (JIT), wiretappings, surveillance of individuals and places, freezing of assets, facilitating photo recognitions, and providing witness statements taken from the trafficked victims.

The JIT helped to clarify the criminal activities and to gather evidence without the need of formal requests for mutual legal assistance (MLA). The JIT was co-funded by Eurojust through the JIT Funding Project.

More information

Read more about JITs and other EU instruments.

Read more about the role of Eurojust in the fight against THB for labour exploitation.