In Australia, Police and Social Security officers are expected to start prosecutions this week against the owners of what's been called a "slave labour camp", near Brisbane.
SV & CU: Exploited workers.
SCU: Worker being interviewed.
CU: Another worker being interviewed.
LV: One of the owners of the workers camp.
SV REPORTER LOOK ON
GV WORKERS CAMP:
REPORTER: "What happened to you in this place, did they ever do anything to you there?"
MAN: Oh, belt you, that's all."
REPORTER: "What sort of belting did you get?"
MAN: "With a bar of iron..a bar of iron."
REPORTER: "Why did they belt you?"
MAN: "Oh, it was jut automatic I suppose."
REPORTER: "Well, didn't you think of leaving the place and going somewhere else?"
MAN: "Well I was thinking about it."
REPORTER: "Well what kept you there?"
MAN: "I had no fares or nothing, you know."
REPORTER: "Did you get any pay at all?"
REPORTER: "What did you do with your cheques?"
MAN: "What cheques?"
REPORTER: "Didn't you get any cheques, pension cheques or anything like that?"
REPORTER: "What happened, I mean, can you tell us about it?"
SECOND MAN: "Well, I was looking for work and couldn't find it. It was the first thing I'd come across."
REPORTER: "And what actually did you do there?"
SECOND MAN: "I used to drive."
REPORTER: "And you got no pay at all?"
SECOND MAN: "No way. I used to work seven days a week, sometimes 12 hours a day."
REPORTER: "Did you ever sort of think of going to the police or anything before this?"
SECOND MAN: "Well, they'd just deny everything that goes on."
REPORTER: Well, did you personally get punished while you were there?"
SECOND MAN: "No, I didn't. The other fellows did."
REPORTER: "Did you see what happened?"
SECOND MAN: "Yes."
REPORTER: "What happened?"
SECOND MAN: "Oh, they were all beaten."
REPORTER: "They were beaten?"
SECOND MAN: "They were beaten?"
SECOND MAN: "yes."
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Background: In Australia, Police and Social Security officers are expected to start prosecutions this week against the owners of what's been called a "slave labour camp", near Brisbane. While police searched the camp at Belmont for bodies reported to have been buried in the sawmill where six men were said to have been held virtual prisoners,a second "slave labour camp" was uncovered a short distance away. That one was a farm, where police freed another 20 men.
SYNOPSIS: First word of the conditions under which the men were being made to live and work came when one of them managed to run away from the Belmont sawmill and alert police. The camp was raided where police found another five men living in conditions they described as "not fit for animals". Police say the camp owners combed the poor area of Brisbane, luring down-and-outs to the camp...and then, keeping them there with threats of beatings.
The owners haven't been saying anything about their charges of ill-treatment at the camp, or that they bailed drunks out of police cells to get workers. Most of the men were elderly and in a very poor physical state. But there could be a silver lining to their experiences. Government officials say they could have thousands to dollars to come in pension back-payments.