By Beth Main.
Five men have been arrested at a car wash in Tianjin for the kidnap, maltreatment and forced labour of mentally handicapped men. 31-year-old victim Wu Fabing says he was beaten with leather belts, sticks and fists, forced to smoke cigarette butts and eat leftovers.
The Guangliang Car Service Center, located in Hedong district of Tianjin was raided by police on November 21st, they rescued 11 workers and detained 5 men.
Wu Fabing told reporters that they were ordered to eat the managers leftovers, if they didn’t eat them then they were beaten. The managers would smoke a cigarette, throw the butt on the floor and demand the laborers smoke it, if they didn’t then they were beaten, again.
Wu Fabing was rescued by his brother Wu Jianbing after a two month ordeal that left his body riddled with cigarette burns and other scars. He arrived at the car wash on August 8th and one month later was paid 100 yuan (US$16.06) rather than the 3,500 yuan promised. He used the money to buy a sim card and call his brother who rescued him on October 3rd. The car wash supervisor demanded a 600 yuan fee for Wu Fabing’s uniform and refused to return his identity card. Wu Jianbing rescued his brother but returned the next day to retrieve the identity card, he took a reporter with him.
32-year-old Lu Shilun was separated from his father at the train station and ended up at a homeless shelter. He was put on a train back home but ended up in Tianjin wandering aimlessly where the car wash supervisors picked him up. He endured months of 12 hour working days and maltreatment before being rescued and reunited with his father.
Most of the workers are from Hebei and Henan provinces and aged between 20 and 30. The car wash supervisors picked them up from Tianjin train station under the guise of offering high paying work. Under state laws, people using forced labor face a maximum jail term of 10 years.