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en/Vanuatu-alleged-human-trafficking-of-over-100-Bangladeshi-workers-now stranded-by-furniture-store-owners#c186027

Allegedly trafficked Bangladeshis stranded in Vanuatu

Author: Mackenzie Smith, Radio New Zealand, Published on: 27 March 2019

29 March 2019

Rights groups are concerned for the welfare of dozens of Bangladeshis who say they were trafficked to Vanuatu and are now in limbo there.

The 101 men stuck in the capital Port Vila have described torture and abuse, in what could be the biggest human trafficking case in the Pacific.

...Shahin Khan...he says he was duped by human traffickers, who enslaved and tortured him and dozens of others.

..."I was tortured, I was starving, it's a very horrible situation actually, our heart is burning, you know, it can't stop."

Mr Khan's testimony is one of 101 Bangladesh men, who paint a grim picture of migrants lured by a businessman....

...For months, the group was forced to work long hours for no pay, kept in squalid conditions and given little food -- often only rice and boiled cabbage.

...Victims say they were promised construction work in Vanuatu paying up to $US5000 per month -- nearly 50 times the national average in Bangladesh.

Many paid as much as $US25,000 to get there, scrounging and mortgaging their homes in the process.

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