Brazil judge convicts Odebrecht of submitting workers to slave-like conditions

MarketsAssociated Press

Brazilian prosecutors say the Odebrecht construction company has been convicted of submitting workers to slave-like conditions at a sugar and ethanol plant being built in Angola.

The labor prosecutor's office says in a statement that Judge Carlos Alberto Frigieri on Tuesday ordered the country's largest building firm to pay 50 million reals ($13 million) in damages to the estimated 400 workers.

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The statement says Odebrecht lured Brazilian workers to Angola, where subsidiaries based in the African country forced them to work without proper visas and under unsanitary working conditions.

Frigieri ruled that because Odebrecht headed the entire project it was responsible for the treatment of the workers.

He also ruled the illegal importation of the workers and restriction of their movements constituted human trafficking.

Odebrecht says it will appeal.