A Carabinieri operation in Macerata against a business owner accused of gangmastering, who allegedly managed a ring of stay permits for migrants | Photo: ANSA/CARABINIERI MACERATA
A Carabinieri operation in Macerata against a business owner accused of gangmastering, who allegedly managed a ring of stay permits for migrants | Photo: ANSA/CARABINIERI MACERATA

A business owner in the city of Macerata in central Italy has been reported to authorities on charges of committing gangmastering. He is accused of allegedly forcing foreign citizens to pay 6,000 euros to regularize their position in Italy.

A business owner in the central Italian city of Macerata allegedly forced foreign citizens to pay €6,000 to regularize their position in Italy, investigators said on Tuesday, March 15.

The man's business, which provides services in the agricultural sector, was already under court-supervised administration for suspected gangmastering, the sources added.

The businessman allegedly took advantage of recent legislation to regularize foreign workers to set up his illicit activity, according to the NIL Carabinieri police unit in charge of fighting irregular labor and abuse in the labor market.

The Carabinieri officers said their investigation revealed that the foreigners were required to pay €6,000 to regularize their position.

The sum was allegedly given in cash to the business owner who then formalized their job contracts, which were in some cases fake because the foreigners did not work for his company, investigators said.

The businessman is under investigation for allegedly recruiting and exploiting workers and organizing the residence-permit scam.

The organization was well-known also outside Macerata

The investigation kicked off after controls, which were carried out following procedures to regularize foreign workers under the 2020 're-launch decree', revealed that multiple contracts registered and presented by the firm appeared to have been stipulated for the sole purpose of providing illicit profits to the businessman, investigative sources said.

According to Carabinieri police, the organization was well-known also outside Macerata. Many foreigners coming from several areas in Italy reportedly contacted the suspect who allegedly gave them a formal job contract guaranteeing, in exchange for money, accommodation in dire housing.

He also allegedly used workers who did not have a stay permit but were being regularized in the fields around Macerata and Fermo, in the Marche region, exploiting them, investigators said.

Workers were paid but were subsequently forced to give back most of their salary, according to the same sources. Some of the migrants who were allegedly exploited reported the business owner to the Carabinieri police.

After their reports, judicial authorities released to some of them temporary residence permits, as provided by decree 286 of 1998.

 

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