8 Chinese nabbed, 87 workers rescued in Bulacan ‘fake cigarette’ warehouse
MARILAO, BULACAN — Authorities on Thursday arrested eight Chinese nationals and rescued 87 workers who were allegedly held and forced to manufacture fake cigarettes at a warehouse here.
Col. Chito Bersaluna, Bulacan police director, said the joint operation of the National Bureau of Investigation and the police was done at a warehouse inside the Green Miles Compound in Barangay Patubig at 3:30 p.m.
Bersaluna said the raiding team arrested the still unidentified Chinese believed to be the employers and freed the workers who are all from Mindanao.
The raid was conducted after authorities received information from one of the workers who managed to sneak out of the warehouse that they were being detained while being forced to work.
Supt. Amado Mendoza, Marilao police chief, said many of the workers have been subjected to forced labor for five months already.
The operatives also found inside the warehouse finished and unfinished cigarette products, including machines being used in manufacturing cigarettes.
Mendoza said the Chinese nationals would be charged with human trafficking, serious illegal detention, and violation of intellectual property code for manufacturing fake cigarettes.
The workers are now under the custody of the authorities for processing and documentation before they are sent back home. (Editor: Leti Z. Boniol)
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