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Police take on money-lenders

POLICE began to supervise the payment of social benefits in a Roma settlement after a two-month-old Roma baby died of malnutrition, apparently because his mother owed her benefit money to usurers.

Money-lenders charging exorbitant interest rates blight many of Slovakia's estimated 620 Roma settlements. In the case of the Medzev settlement, where police moved in on November 20, over 70 per cent of the monthly Sk3 million ($70,000) issued in benefits goes into the hands of usurers.

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