Danish transport company cleared of accusations of exploiting Asian drivers 

Photo: Jesper Woldenhof, 3F

The Danish transport company Kurt Beier Transport A/S was on 25 August cleared of harsh accusations of exploiting Asian drivers and instead ordered to pay a fine, media TV2 reports. 

The company and four employees were almost three years ago accused of several offenses after it emerged how Filipino and Sri Lankan drivers lived in miserable conditions in Kurt Beier Transport A/S ‘camp near Padborg, Denmark. 

Despite all defendants being acquitted of the accusation of exploitation of labor, the company’s co-owner and director Karsten Beier was fined DKK 25,000 for knowing that a camp had been built illegally while the company Kurt Beier Transport A/S was fined DKK 100,000.

The case started in 2018 when media Fagbladet 3F uncovered just how primitive up to 200 truck drivers from the Philippines and Sri Lanka were living at the company’s camp. The drivers were cramped into dirty containers with moisture and mold on the walls or in cold truck trailers with plastic tarpaulins over them. At the same time, information about extremely low wages of as little as DKK 15 per hour also emerged.

The case was reported to the police by the Center against Human Trafficking, which concluded that the truck drivers were victims of human trafficking for forced labor. Quickly after the revelation, the camp was searched by the Danish police while 26 foreign drivers present at the camp testified to police. Under two years later, Danish police brought charges in the case but no charges for human trafficking. Kurt Beier Transport A / S was charged with violation of the Aliens Act, violation of building regulations, and violation of the Building Act.

3F’s Chairman of the Transport Group, Jan Villadsen is surprised about the recent verdict and says to TV2 that he is shocked that you can treat other people in this way and just get a fine. Jan Villadsen is however happy that big companies including Jysk, Arla, and Blue Water Shipping, among others, have already informed Fagbladet 3F that they will no longer use Kurt Beier Transport A/S – regardless of whether the company was convicted or not.

The sleeping conditions for the Filipino drivers. Photo: Jesper Woldenhof, 3F

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

View all posts by Mette Larsen

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