Deaf-mute exploitation

Two Greek deaf-mute men have been arrested on suspicion of having abducted and stabbed similarly disabled Ukrainian slave-workers who were planning to jump ship and work for a better-paying gang. Police said yesterday that the suspects, a father and son from Livadia in Viotia and two other men with unimpaired hearing and speech, had brought at least 80 Ukrainian deaf-mutes to Greece since 2002. The Ukrainians were forced to work for the gang, appealing to people’s charitable feelings to sell trinkets for 5 euros each. The gang gave the Ukrainians 1.30 euros for every sale they made. But recently, six deaf-mutes the gang had installed in a house in Loutsa, eastern Attica, decided to work for another gang that offered them 2 euros per sale. Their employers got wind of the plan, and allegedly abducted all six, knifing two and stealing 2,500 euros in the process, and locked them up in their Livadia house. On Sunday, the gang freed their victims, dumping the two injured deaf-mutes outside the Livadia hospital.