Three French members of the Church of Scientology, suspected of holding a fourth person against their will, were arrested Monday in Nuoro, Sardinia, a local police spokesman told AFP.
“The three people belong to the Church of Scientology, whereas the person being held was probably not a member,” Fabrizio Mustaro, of the Nuoro Prefecture on the Mediterranean island, told AFP.
Police were alerted by a phone call that reported cries for help coming from a house on Mount Ortobene, near Nuoro, said Mustaro.
Officers found a 47-year-old woman of Tunisian origin sleeping semi-naked on a mattress infested with vermin. She was subsequently hospitalised. Three other people at the house, a 42-year-old woman and two 18-year-old men, one of Tunisian origin, were arrested and charged with kidnapping.
The three suspects had been living in the Nuoro region for about year, said Mustaro. They had so far refused to speak to officers, he added. All three were due to appear in court late Monday or early Tuesday.