Finnish greenhouse owner arrested for exploitation and human trafficking of Vietnamese workers

At the end of last week, the District Court of Ostrobothnia in Finland arrested a local greenhouse entrepreneur from Närpes on probable cause on suspicion of exploitation and attempted human trafficking of Vietnamese workers.

The entrepreneur, who is one of Finland’s largest growers, has been under investigation for a long time for irregularities in how labor from Vietnam has been brought to his farms in Närpes.

Crime Commissioner Hannu Kortelainen from the Helsinki Police’s human trafficking group says that the entrepreneur is firstly arrested for suspicion of human trafficking and secondly for suspension of exploitation of the Vietnamese workers.

In January, a case about the systematic and long-term import of Vietnamese labor in Närpes emerged. A local mediator in Vietnam is said to have taken between 10,000 and 20,000 euros per person to get his compatriots to Finland where they were forced to work 15 hour days. The Vietnamese workers which include couples and families with children are suspected of being victims of extortion and possibly human trafficking. Previously, three Närpes residents from Vietnam have been detained in the case, but the last one of them was released last week. This is the first time that police have confirmed that a local greenhouse grower is also suspected of the crimes. 

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