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Portugal: 47 footballers victim of human trafficking released

Portugal: 47 footballers victim of human trafficking released
Soccer balls on a grass pitch   -  
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Forty-seven young footballers, including 36 minors, were rescued by Portuguese police in a dragnet launched on Monday against a human trafficking network linked to a training center in northern Portugal, AFP has learned. Thursday with the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).

The victims, men from countries in Africa, Asia and South America, were placed in institutions "under the protection of the State", the same source said.

Two Portuguese and five companies were indicted as part of this operation, called "El Dourado", during which several "passports and residence permits" were seized.

According to local media, the victims were sequestered in the premises of the Bsports football academy, in Riba d'Ave, near Vila Nova de Famalicao (north). Players had to testify before a judge before returning to their home countries.

One of the two indicted persons was identified by the media as Mario Costa, one of the officials of the Bsports academy and president of the general assembly of the Portuguese football league, a post from which he resigned on Wednesday, saying not to have committed any illegality.

The illegal recruitment of footballers is "unacceptable and shocking", reacted the Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, Joao Paulo Correia, assuring that the government would "take measures" to fight against this type of trafficking. Human being.

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