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Slave labor operation broken up at Yunnan brickyard

By in News on

Three years after the exposure and breaking up of slave rings at illegal brickyards in Shanxi province, a similar operation has been uncovered in Shilin county, 120 kilometers east of Kunming.

Last Friday night Shilin police raided a local illegal brickyard after receiving a tip in the morning from police in neighboring Wenshan county.

According to the tip from Wenshan, a young man named Ma Jiacai had been taken from a nearby village and forced to work at the brickyard in Shilin one month earlier. Wenshan police asked their Shilin counterparts to look for Ma.

A Shilin police spokesperson said the brick factory had been identified 13 hours later. After raiding the illegal "black" brickyard, police found Ma and 23 other people who were being held against their will at the site as forced laborers.

The workers had reportedly been tricked into coming to work at the factory and then kept under close guard and beaten if they refused to work.

Shilin police say they are still investigating the case, which is the second of its kind in China this year. In late May, 34 workers were freed from an illegal brick factory in Hebei province.

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