On September 2, 2010, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a Hawaii grand jury had indicted six people on human trafficking charges. The defendants allegedly enticed approximately 400 Thai nationals to come to the US by falsely promising them job opportunities and then forcing them to work at farms in Washington and Hawaii by threatening economic harm. According to the indictment, the six people, three of whom work for Global Horizons Manpower, charged the Thai nationals high recruitment fees, which the Thai nationals paid by taking out loans secured by their house or land. The defendants told the Thai nationals that if they refused to work on the farms, they would be sent back to Thailand where they would be unable to repay the loans and risk having their houses and land foreclosed on. Prosecutors also claimed that some workers were forced to pay $3,750 to keep their jobs. The defendants face maximum prison sentences ranging from five to 70 years.
Learn more about the DOJ human trafficking from the JURIST news archive.