A couple in Gilroy, California, was charged with human trafficking after locking a man in a liquor store and forcing him to bathe in a mop bucket after working daily 15-hour shifts, according to a Santa Clara District Attorneys Office’s press release.
Amarjit and Balwinder Mann were charged Tuesday with labor human trafficking, witness intimidation and wage theft in a scheme that allegedly targeted the victim and three others, the release said.
“Slavery officially was abolished in 1865,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “Tragically, we are seeing examples of it in 2020. My Office will prosecute anyone to the fullest extent of the law who practices this kind of criminal and inhumane exploitation.”(RELATED: Ivanka Talks ‘Combating Human Trafficking’ During Announcement Of $35 Million Housing Grants For Survivors)
The unidentified victim was discovered during an Alcohol Beverage Control inspection. “The agent contacted a man who appeared to be living in a small storage room in the back area of the store – a major red flag for human trafficking,” the press release said. The agents saw a thin mattress on top of milk crates and discovered an office desk with folded clothes inside of it.
The investigation later revealed that the man had flown from India in 2019, when Amarjit and Balwinder allegedly took his passport and locked him in. Three other employees who had not been held reportedly revealed they were forced to work long hours, according to the release from the Santa Clara County prosecutors, who said that the Manns had stolen about $150,000 in wages while running “a profitable liquor store and market.”
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