210 policemen from ten districts in cooperation with customs and tax authorities today hit 20 stores in Norwegian convenience chain Lime Minipris with a coordinated razzia.
Police believes several persons from Nepal and India have been subject to forced labour. 18 people are now arrested and the founder of the chain remains in custody.
Norwegian TV2 reports about a campaign to crack down on labor-related crimes in several cities simultaneously in the morning hours.
Tuesday morning hundreds of police officers were sent to the home of several people in the Lime-sphere. Three people were charged with trafficking.
Later, police with help from NAV, Tax and Customs Administration raided stores of the franchise chain Lime Minipris, consisting of up around 30 stores. Stores were located in Rælingen, Skedsmo, Ski, Akser, Bærum, Larvik and Oslo.
”We have 18 arrested, 20 stores have been subject to for a razzia in and 210 people from the police attended”, said Police Chief in Romerike, Bjørn Eirik Vandvik, at a press conference this afternoon.
The number of participants is a record of the action.
”This is the largest operation the tax administration has been part of”, said Jan Egil Kristiansen, Skatt Øst, during the press conference.
”We have over 50 people in action, many of them computer experts. We have collected data personnel from across the country to participate in the campaign”, said Kristiansen.
The founder of Lime is currently in custody charged with serious trafficking after he was arrested at the airport on Saturday 16 August. Three of his family members are among the arrested.
He was previously convicted for use of illegal labor in a shop he ran in Grønland in Oslo and is also accused of tax fraud.