The three are facing accusations of human trafficking, money-laundering, forgery of documents, social fraud and being at the helm of a criminal gang.
Detectives suspect Jost group evaded social security contributions worth 55 million euros, by setting up bogus companies in Romania and Slovakia and by having over 1,000 drivers from these countries working in Belgium. The drivers were forced to work long hours, resting times were not respected and they had to live in their trucks for several successive days, detectives suspect.
The fraud also involved Belgian drivers, who were registered in Luxemburg, the judicial authorities estimate.
"This is only the tip of the iceberg"
"We've heard terrible stories, about drivers who are not being paid sometimes, or who are being dismissed if they have a conflict with the company... Terrible stories about people who never see their families. They do it because they hope to earn more money here than in their homeland. This also ousted the Belgian drivers", says John Reynaert of the socialist trades union ABVV, who had tipped investigators about the malpractice.
"Finally, action has been taken. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are long lists of people employed by companies based in Bratislava, for example. We think many more will follow."