“There is a network of beggars suffering from human slavery in Vila Real de Santo António”, claims local businessman Luís Camarada Rodrigues. Mr. Rodrigues presented his argument to the public on social media this weekend, in the “VRSA + Espectacular” Facebook Group of which he is an admin. In only a few hours the post generated much attention, with several people confirming that they share his suspicions.
Mr. Rodrigues uploaded two photos with his post, choosing the suggestive title: “The Master and the Slave”. He writes that the “Master, with a high-powered car and new mobile phone, has been moving around the villages, and flies regularly between Lisbon and Bucharest”
“This individual has been operating a network of beggars and human slaves for several years in Vila Real de Santo António. Mainly women who fake being pregnant on the streets of Vila Real de Santo António” claims the businessman.
He says there are “other slaves elsewhere in the village, next to Lidl, Pingo Doce and Corvo supermarkets, next to the church and at funerals working for the boss,” concluding that “nobody does anything about it!”.
From the many comments left over the past two days, some confirm that the supposed crime boss who Mr. Rodrigues photographed has been seen around the area in local shops. “They go to cafes and supermarkets to change currencies,” says one person.
“This is mocking: simulating a pregnancy,” says another person. “Yesterday there was one at the door of Lidl, with no big belly and for years has been walking this area.”
Begging for money is not a crime, meaning that even with the vague evidence presented by the businessman, nothing is likely to occur in terms of council or police action. “The only solution is to make people aware that no one should give them money. Or they can change the law. In Denmark they would go to prison for begging” argues Mr. Rodrigues.
Whether the businessman’s claims are true or not is currently unknown, but hopefully time will tell.
The original post can be found on the “VRSA + Espectacular” Facebook page: CLICK HERE