Sun, Aug 20, 2006 - Page 6 News List

Polish laborers feared murdered by Italian mafia


Polish and Italian police suspect that more than a dozen Poles held as slave laborers in illegal labor camps run by mafia gangs in Italy could have been murdered, Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza daily reported yesterday.

Last week prosecutors in Bari, southeast Italy, began investigating the possibility that Poles used as slave laborers and who had disappeared had in fact been murdered.

People liberated from the camps have reportedly testified that individuals who rebelled against the slavery were first beaten then stuffed into car trunks and never seen or heard from again.

In recent months, Italian police have found the remains of 10 unidentified people in the Orta Nova district of Italy, according to the Gazeta Wyborcza report.

The causes of their deaths have been recorded as drowning, traffic accident or simply natural.

Some of the bodies have been identified by eyewitnesses as the victims of gangsters in the labor camps, Gazeta reported.

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