Coordinated action against labour exploitation led to three arrests.
On Tuesday 14 January, the Bern cantonal police, under the direction of the cantonal public prosecutor’s office, carried out a coordinated operation against labour exploitation in Gstaad and Saanen.
Three Serbian nationals were arrested and subsequently remanded in custody. As reported by the cantonal police, the strong suspicion that the three persons of Serbian origin were illegally employing foreign workers and massively exploiting them, especially in terms of workload and wages, has been further substantiated after the first interrogations.
In the course of the action, seven women of Serbian nationality were also stopped. They were presumably victims of exploitation. Protective measures have been initiated.
Result of longtime investigations
The investigations, which have taken almost a year so far, were triggered by information from the population and findings from police investigations.
The cantonal public prosecutor’s office subsequently opened proceedings on suspicion of human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation, usury, extortion, coercion and violations of the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act.
The investigations, in which not only the suspects and presumed victims but also numerous informants are questioned, are, according to the report, complex and time-consuming and are still ongoing.
Based on AvS/Kerem S. Maurer