The Antwerp labor inspectorate is investigating 55 alleged victims of human trafficking at the large construction site of the chemical company Borealis in the port of Antwerp.
Borealis is building a plastic factory in Kallo, near the port of Antwerp.
The investment of 1 billion euros is one of the largest in the European chemical sector in recent years.
Borealis wants to convert propane gas into propylene.
‘Victims of human trafficking were indeed employed on the site’, confirms labor prosecutor Bart Wens to De Tijd. He is leading the investigation to determine whether human trafficking is involved in strict legal terms in addition to exploitation. Several indicators point in that direction. The men – all of Filipino and Bengali descent – would have received a monthly wage of barely 650 euros to work six days out of seven.
Borealis spokesperson Anne Cornelissen said:
‘To be clear: these are not employees of Borealis itself. It would be employees of our contractor IREM-Ponticelli’,