Ex-Chinese Construction Exec Found Guilty in US of Forced Labor Charges
A former executive for a Chinese construction company was found guilty on Friday of U.S. charges that he forced Chinese laborers to work in the New York area under a form of debt bondage. Dan Zhong, 49, was convicted by a jury in Brooklyn federal court after a nearly three-week trial. Zhong had served as the president of U.S. Rilin Corp, a unit of privately held Chinese construction conglomerate China Rilin Construction Group, which is headed by Zhong's billionaire uncle Wang Wenliang. Zhong appeared impassive as the jury foreperson read the verdict, which found him guilty on five counts. Robert Cleary, a lawyer for Zhong, declined to comment. Zhong, who was previously an accredited Chinese diplomat, was arrested in November 2016 and has been jailed since then. Prosecutors said that he played a leading role in a scheme in which Rilin offered workers in China jobs in the United States, but required them to pledge large sums of cash and even their family's homes as security, which they would lose if they were found to violate their contracts. Once in the United States, prosecutors said, workers were told where they could live and kept away from New York's Chinese communities where they might speak to others. Their passports were kept in a safe Zhong controlled, and workers who tried to escape were violently recaptured, prosecutors said. Although the workers came to the United States on visas that allowed them to work only on Chinese diplomatic facilities, they were also forced to work on private properties including Zhong's own New Jersey home, according to prosecutors. Cleary told jurors at the beginning of the trial the workers came voluntarily to the United States, where they could make up to five times as much money as they could in China, and that Zhong... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Ex-Chinese Construction Exec Found Guilty in US of Forced Labor Charges, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Friday, 22 March
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