Eight Chinese nationals were arrested during a raid on Friday and 87 Filipinos who had been held and forced to work in a fake cigarette warehouse in Marilao, Bulacan, in the Philippines were set free.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Bulacan police on Friday raided a warehouse inside the Green Miles Compound in Barangay Patubig. The raid was conducted after the NBI received information that there were Filipinos being forced to work in the warehouse, Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
Authorities arrested eight Chinese nationals believed to be the employers. The Chinese nationals were yet to be identified. The Filipino workers, all from Mindanao, were freed.
Amado Mendoza, the Marilao police chief, said the majority of workers had been subjected to forced labor for five months. Finished and unfinished cigarette and machines used to manufacture the cigarettes were found inside the warehouse.
The Chinese nationals are now in the custody of the NBI and will be charged with human trafficking, serious illegal detention and violation of intellectual property code for manufacturing fake cigarettes. The Filipino workers have been sent home to their respective provinces.