Today armed policemen have cordoned off the court building in Lisbon, where a trial on 25 natives from Eastern Europe starts. The people are accused of exploitation of illegal immigrants and other crimes on the territory of Portugal. Several Ukrainians are among the accused. The other members of a so-called “Eastern-European mafia”, as Portugal’s police thinks, come from Moldova, Russia, Azerbaijan and Lithuania. The number of crimes, the group is accused of, is rather large: blackmailing, robbery, illegal arms storage, racketeering, kidnapping, money and document forgery, illegal transportation of immigrants to Portugal, drug dealing, maintenance of dens, Associated Press informs.
The accused have been in the pre-detention since May’2000. During the arrest pistols with mufflers, cold steel, large sums of money, cars of different brands and mobile phones have been withdrawn from the gang. The trial is more likely to last for several months.
The gang’s leader, a Moldavian nicknamed Borman, and his two mates, who are supposedly to come from Ukraine, practiced extortion in the Portugal’s city of Porto and in the south province of Algarve, where immigrants from Eastern Europe and former USSR live and work. If the immigrants refused to render a so-called tribute, the gang threatened relatives of the people who remained in the homeland.
The trial in Lisbon is translated from Portuguese into Romanian and Russian.
Alexander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/15/35578.html