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France: Roma people smuggling trial continues01:23

France: Roma people smuggling trial continues

France, Nancy
October 3, 2013 at 12:47 GMT +00:00 · Published

France: Roma people smuggling trial continues

The trial of a Roma gang who allegedly trained and traded women and children as thieves continued in the eastern French city of Nancy on Thursday. Prosecutors allege that the network of men traded brides based on their criminal prowess and trained children as young as 10 to steal, annually bringing in thousands of Euros in profit.

The 27 people charged with a range of offences, including 'association with criminals and complicity to theft' and people trafficking range are aged between 19 to 55 and orginate from three Croatian Roma familes. If found guilty, the members of the three extended families could see up to 10 years in prison. A 66-year-old woman suspected to be the kingpin of the operation is set to be tried seperately.

Defence laywer Alain Behr said: "This case is a very heavy case because there is a very important gap between the culture of the Romani people and the court. The court doesn't understand the explaination which was given by our clients."

The trial comes as the French government continues its policy of dismantling illegal Roma settlements and deporting Roma to their countries of origin.

France: Roma people smuggling trial continues01:23
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France: Roma people smuggling trial continues

The trial of a Roma gang who allegedly trained and traded women and children as thieves continued in the eastern French city of Nancy on Thursday. Prosecutors allege that the network of men traded brides based on their criminal prowess and trained children as young as 10 to steal, annually bringing in thousands of Euros in profit.

The 27 people charged with a range of offences, including 'association with criminals and complicity to theft' and people trafficking range are aged between 19 to 55 and orginate from three Croatian Roma familes. If found guilty, the members of the three extended families could see up to 10 years in prison. A 66-year-old woman suspected to be the kingpin of the operation is set to be tried seperately.

Defence laywer Alain Behr said: "This case is a very heavy case because there is a very important gap between the culture of the Romani people and the court. The court doesn't understand the explaination which was given by our clients."

The trial comes as the French government continues its policy of dismantling illegal Roma settlements and deporting Roma to their countries of origin.

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