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3 Portuguese men arrested for human trafficking

LISBON, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Three Portuguese men were arrested Wednesday for trafficking and enslaving 34 Bulgarians in Braganca, 490 km northeast of Lisbon.

Portugal's Immigration Service (SEF) said it found the 34 men and women were living in miserable conditions and working on the chestnut harvest in the Braganca region.

"In the searches, a variety of documents were seized that prove the exploitation for labor of foreign citizens in the agricultural sector in those areas," a source from SEF told local daily Jornal de Noticais.

The Bulgarians had been offered 50 euros a day for the work before travelling to Portugal. But after they arrived, they got only half of the promised pay and had to pay for food and lodging, thus virtually becoming slaves, according to the reports.

The case was investigated following a tip-off from locals who informed SEF that every eight Bulgarians were sleeping in a 10 square-meter room in "miserable conditions."

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