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Published On: Tue, May 9th, 2017

Boss of Jost Group and colleagues behind bars for social fraud and human trafficking

nsnbc : Roland Jost, the boss of the transport company Jost Group is in custody and can expect to spend some time behind bars. Roland Jost is facing allegations of social fraud, human trafficking and organized crime.

Roland Jost_Jost Group_Belgium_May 2017Yesterday police raided some 20 branches of the Jost transport company in Belgium and abroad. The raids were conducted as part of an international investigation into social fraud, social dumping and in some cases probably human trafficking.

Four people were arrested during the raids yesterday. Three of them, the CEO Roland Jost and two senior managers, remain in custody and behind bars. The three are facing allegations including involvement in human trafficking, money laundering, forgery of documents, social fraud and organized crime.

Investigators suspect that Joust Group systematically evaded social security contributions worth 55 million euros by establishing front companies in Romania and Slovenia and by having some 1,000 drivers from these countries working in Belgium.

Jost Group_Belgium_2_May 2017The fraud also involved Belgian drivers, who were registered in Luxemburg, said judicial authorities.  Police detectives believe the drivers were also forced to work long hours, resting times were not respected and they had to live in their trucks for several successive days. John Reynaert of the socialist trade union ABVV, who had tipped off investigators about the malpractice said this is only the tip of the iceberg. Reynaert added

“We have heard terrible stories, about drivers who are not being paid sometimes, or who are being dismissed if they have a conflict with the company… Terrible stories about people who never see their families. They do it because they hope to earn more money here than in their homeland. This also displaced the Belgian drivers. .. Finally, action has been taken. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are long lists of people employed by companies based in Bratislava, for example. We think many more will follow.”

F/AK – nsnbc 09.05.2017

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