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4 Sep 2010

Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times

Federal grand jury indicts associates of Beverly Hills firm in human-trafficking case [USA]

In 2003, a farmworker showed up...[at] a Thai community organization with a harrowing tale. The Thai national described being lured to the United States with promises of a three-year contract and $1,900 in monthly pay...Instead, he alleged, associates of a Beverly Hills labor recruiting firm [Global Horizons] forced him and fellow Thai farmworkers into virtual slave labor with substandard wages, inadequate food and housing and threats of deportation and physical violence if they tried to escape. Now, in what authorities call the largest human-trafficking case in U.S. history, a federal grand jury in Honolulu this week indicted the owner and four employees of Global Horizons Manpower Inc., along with two Thai labor recruiters, on charges of engaging in a conspiracy to coerce the labor of those workers and about 400 other Thai nationals... A receptionist answering the phone at Global Horizons said no one was available for comment.

Part of the following timelines

USA: Owner, 4 employees of recruitment firm Global Horizons indicted for forcing 400 Thai nationals to work in largest trafficking case in US history

Global Horizons lawsuit (re forced labour, criminal proceedings)