Eight suspects, one in prison and two under house arrest. A company in Ostuni that recruited laborers, forced them to work over 10 hours a day, while declaring only 6.5 hours in the payroll thus scamming the INPS, Italian National Social Security Institute.
Sometimes, according to prosecutors, the “employees” were forced to work from 3 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week in the province of Bari for the fields at Polignano a Mare. And if this was not enough, the workers were forced to pay €10 per person each working day as reimbursement for fuel expenses — essentially engineering their own kickback.
The criminal scheme revealed Wednesday by prosecutors in Brindisi is a story of exploitation without limits and rules, of dignity trampled. Anna Maria Iaia, 50, of San Vito dei Normanni, was arrested. She is an employee of 2 Erre SRL, the firm that, according to the prosecution, ran a criminal association devoted to exploitation. Under house arrest are Giuseppe Bello, 49, of San Michele Salentino, the bus driver who led the laborers into the fields, and Anna Errico,73, the mother of the alleged foreman.