Abuja Police Arrests Chinese Couple for Allegedly Locking Up 8 Nigerians

Abuja Police has arrested a Chinese couple reported to have locked up their Nigerian domestic workers for about four months.

The police rescued eight Nigerian employees from the Chinese apartment after an intel obtained by Human Rights radio station. 

According to footage by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), the rescued victims said they had been locked up in the apartment since February.

One of the workers who declined her identity said she was denied access to her treatment when she took ill.

According to her, “When I was seriously sick, I asked these people (Chinese employers) to open the gate for me, but they refused until I became very angry before they opened the door. I know my life may be at risk but I don’t mind, let the world know what is happening.

“They told us that if someone was going out, he could help buy something for us, but when this man (referring to a colleague) went out to buy sachet water, they deducted his salary. What do they want us to do?

“We had to stay in the room and talk to people through the windows. They didn’t give us food; apart from the salary, they didn’t give us anything; they even cut our salaries.”

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The driver of the Chinese, who simply identified himself as Alex, said he and the seven others had been working against their will for the couple since the outbreak of COVID-19 in February.

Also, a male worker, who said he is the Chinese couple’s driver said they have been working against their will for the couple since the emergence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in February. 

The driver, Alex said, “They never allowed us to go out since February; if any of us went out and they know, a certain percentage of the person’s salary would be deducted.

“Even on Monday when this man (pointing at one of his co-workers) sent someone to buy water, N500 was deducted from his salary that has yet to be paid.”

Another worker said the couple deducted N3,000 from his salary, because he went out to fill his pension form.

However, the story seems to have take a different direction according to a Punch report. 
 
The workers were reported not cooperating with the police and instead stating they were not forcefully detained by their employers.

“We were surprised by the refusal of the Nigerians to narrate the details of their ordeal to the police. All of them claimed that they chose to stay with the Chinese couple without coercion, but that was not the information that prompted our visit to the apartment. From the look of things, there may be more to what they are telling us,” a police source told the Nigerian local newspaper.

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