Date
23 May 2017
One of the defendants (inset bottom) and paperwork for one of the victims (inset top). Authorities seized passports with business or tourist visas from the defendants. Photos: news.china.com, baidu
One of the defendants (inset bottom) and paperwork for one of the victims (inset top). Authorities seized passports with business or tourist visas from the defendants. Photos: news.china.com, baidu

Two men on trial in Beijing for maid smuggling

Two men are on trial in Beijing for allegedly smuggling women from Southeast Asia and having them employed by local families as domestic helpers.

The defendants, surnamed Li and Lui, conspired with immigration officers to have business or tourist visas issued to six Indonesian women and eight Filipino women between 2014 and 2015, Beijing News reports, citing court documents.

After the women arrived in Beijing, they were provided accommodation but forbidden to go out until the duo found jobs for them, the court heard.

One of the women from the Philippines escaped in July 2015 and reported the matter to a policeman she met on the street.

The pair told the court that they could make between 20,000 yuan and 50,000 yuan for each maid they successfully placed with a local family.

They said there is great demand for domestic helpers in Beijing.

China prohibits any foreigner from providing low-end labor in the country.

Police earlier said Li and Lui had found jobs for more than 30 foreign women aged between 19 and 42. Some could speak Mandarin.

The defense lawyer argued that the defendants were merely accessories and that the main culprits were the immigration officers who issued the visas.

The hearing continues.

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