A US recruitment company lured 400 Thai laborers to the US, confiscated their passports, tore up their contracts, and forced them to work, according to a federal indictment filed yesterday. The indictment names six people, four from Global Horizons Manpower Inc.—including the CEO—and two recruiters based out of Thailand, the AP reports. Once brought to the US, laborers were allegedly scattered to more than a dozen states, and threatened with deportation if they didn’t comply. The FBI is calling it the largest human-trafficking case ever charged in US history.
“In the old days, they used to keep slaves in their places with whips and chains. Today it’s done with economic threats and intimidation,” an FBI agent said. Two Global Horizons employees have been arrested, a third is expected to turn himself in, and the FBI is currently negotiating the surrender of CEO Mordechai Orian. The US will try to work out a deal with Thailand to nab the other two suspects.