The German Federal Police together with customs officials on Wednesday carried out a large-scale raid targeting an illegal employment scheme by companies offering home care services.

About a thousand law enforcement operatives were involved in the raid targeting 130 residential and commercial premises in 13 regions, Deutsche Welle reported citing the press service of the Federal Police,

Simultaneously with the searches in Germany, the Polish prosecutor's office scrambled to pursue the investigation against the three main suspects as part of the bilateral legal assistance deal.

The push for the Germany raid came from the probe into the three Polish suspects and 71 affiliated persons in Germany. An investigation is underway against these persons on suspicion of human trafficking of foreigners for commercial purposes, illegal employment of foreigners, and deprivation of salaries.

The Dresden General Customs Directorate says the unlawful scheme cost social insurance funds some about EUR 14 million.

During the raid, data carriers, documents, firearms, ammunition, about EUR 60,000 in cash, and nearly a kilogram of gold worth several tens of thousands of euros were seized.

Read alsoAlmost 900,000 Ukrainian labor migrants working in PolandReportedly, the investigation launched some three years ago, when Ukrainian "tourists" caught the eye of local law enforcers after going on to stay in Germany and getting employed – without permits – by companies affiliated with the suspects.

Ukrainian workers also had no required qualifications to provide care services, police say.

In general, the police are investigating about 1,400 cases of illegal stay and employment in Germany, mostly of Ukrainian women. As a rule, they were recruited by Polish firms in Ukraine, after which their services were offered to German customers at a lower price.

Working abroad: Other reports