According to the same source, this network was formed by foreigners, namely Romanian families, and some Portuguese who gave them support.

"The several dozen victims of Romanian, Moldovan, Moroccan, Pakistani, and Senegalese nationalities were hired for farms in Beja, Cuba and Ferreira do Alentejo, among other places," the source said.

Today, the PJ carried out 65 searches, which culminated in the arrest of 35 people, mostly men.

The PJ's investigation began about a year ago and focused on the recruitment by this criminal network of seasonal foreign agricultural workers in the Alentejo, with the promise of decent employment and housing.

According to the same source, this criminal network for attracting foreign labour forced workers to return a substantial part of their salary and sometimes applied physical aggression and coercion.

The news of the arrests was initially reported by CNN Portugal.