Latest modern slavery fight updates -

New York Finds Ex-Chinese Construction Exec Guilty of Forced Labor

  • Published on
    March 22, 2019
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Debt Bondage, Law & Policy
Hero Banner

A federal court in Brooklyn has delivered a guilty verdict in the case of a former Chinese construction executive charged with forced labor.

Dan Zhong, who is the ex-president of U.S. Rilin Corp, was convicted for forcing Chinese laborers to work on construction sites across New York under a form of debt bondage. He was found guilty on five counts and appeared emotionless as the jury read out the verdict.

Zhong was also previously an accredited Chinese diplomat, though has been in jail since his arrest in 2016.

Voice of America reports:

Prosecutors said that he played a leading role in a scheme in which Rilin offered workers in China jobs in the United States, but required them to pledge large sums of cash and even their family’s homes as security, which they would lose if they were found to violate their contracts.

Once in the United States, prosecutors said, workers were told where they could live and kept away from New York’s Chinese communities where they might speak to others. Their passports were kept in a safe Zhong controlled, and workers who tried to escape were violently recaptured, prosecutors said.

Although the workers came to the United States on visas that allowed them to work only on Chinese diplomatic facilities, they were also forced to work on private properties including Zhong’s own New Jersey home, according to prosecutors.

Zhong’s defense argued that the Chinese workers came to the US voluntarily and that Zhong was never involved in any violence.

This case is one of several federal probes of Chinese nationals being undertaken by prosecutors in Manhattan and Brooklyn.


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

European cocaine gangs using forced labor to exploit children

A recent investigation by The Guardian found the continent’s £10bn appetite for cocaine has led to forced child labor on an equally massive scale. Increasingly powerful drug cartels are forcing hundreds, possibly thousands, of unaccompanied child migrants to work as drug sellers on European streets. They do this to meet the growing demand for cocaine in cities including Paris and Brussels. Industrial scale exploitation The increase in refugees

| Tuesday June 11, 2024

Read more