The contractors accused of tax and accounting fraud might also be engaging in human trafficking, police suspect.
As reported, five people are in custody after a major police operation was launched Tuesday morning. Nine arrests were made in all, and 11 locations were raided by the police, where accounting books were seized as evidence.
All of these companies are contractors for construction companies, and they are all suspected of engaging in tax and accounting fraud, as well as money laundering. Fréttatíminn now reports that two of these companies – Brotafl and Kraftbindingar – are also suspected of human trafficking.
Police were reportedly shocked to discover the conditions in which many of these companies’ workers, who predominantly hail from Eastern Europe, were made to live in. In these grim conditions, many of these workers have no access to proper heat, electricity, or even toilets.
Cases of human trafficking and worker exploitation have increased in Iceland in recent years, and the victims are more often than not foreigners. These cases, which have long been a concern amongst labour unions, stretch from everything from the tourism industry to construction.
Workers who are new to the job market, wherever they may hail from, should be sure to inform themselves of their rights and, if an employer will not meet demands to honour those rights, seek recourse from a labour union.