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Romania: Program for troubled youth at center of abuse probe

August 27, 2019

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian law enforcement agency says it is investigating eight people on suspicion of trafficking and abusing German children who were allegedly beaten, deprived of food and “kept in a state of slavery.”

Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism said Tuesday that searches were carried out in the country’s north and a number of children were put in the custody of child protection services.

The directorate said the children ages 12 to 18 were in a program for troubled youth that a German couple allegedly created for human trafficking “under the guise of carrying out legitimate educational services.”

The agency’s statement named the program as Project Maramures. The Associated Press emailed contacts listed on its website, a partner organization, and the youth ministry in the German state where Project Maramures is based. None immediately replied.

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