Italian police say thousands of fans were put at risk through the use of untrained and exploited migrants as event security | Photo: Giorgio Benvenuti/ANSA
Italian police say thousands of fans were put at risk through the use of untrained and exploited migrants as event security | Photo: Giorgio Benvenuti/ANSA

Four people have been arrested in Italy over the alleged exploitation of asylum seekers as security officers at rock concerts. The concerts included shows by the Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode and Italian rock star, Vasco Rossi.

The four were arrested on charges of exploiting migrant labor for security services at large musical events. They reportedly offered the asylum seekers 6 euros an hour and forced them to work for as long as 15 hours at a stretch, often offering them a second gig to make up for not being paid at all for the first one.


Exploited for Rolling Stones and Depeche Mode concerts 

Using false documents, those under investigation allegedly exploited asylum seekers to manage security at live events such as concerts of the Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode and Vasco Rossi. The asylum seekers often did not even understand Italian. 

The charges include illicit intermediation, labor exploitation and falsifying documents of a public official. Those arrested are two owners of large security firms, now banned from operating - as well as a mother and son from the Campania region. Both are now in jail.

As part of a police operation, many large events in 2017 were monitored, including concerts by Guns'n Roses, Depeche Mode, Vasco Rossi, David Guetta and the Rolling Stones. 

'Tens of thousands of people put at risk' 

"This was a well-oiled mechanism that put tens of thousands of people at immeasurable risk in terms of security, in a period of high sensitivity and attention to the issue of potential terrorist attacks," Col. Cristiano Desideri said. 

During the investigation, Italian police spoke to one of the asylum seekers recruited. "I arrived in Italy in June 2016," he said, "after being rescued at sea by a ship on one of the many boats from Libya. In Modena, from the time the work began until we finished, no one ever asked me for any kind of document, nor did they check my file. There was no filter, no metal detector, no check on what was in my pockets or what I was carrying with me. I am a good person but if I had been a terrorist I could have done anything." 

The police believe that the two from Campania recruited about a hundred people who had landed in Italy on boats from Libya only a few months before, as well as itinerants and people with criminal records.
 

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