FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CR
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1995                         (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

                     SLAVERY AND KIDNAPPING
     WASHINGTON, D.C. --  Ten Thai nationals were indicted today
on charges that they enticed laborers from Thailand, and then
enslaved and forced them to toil in a makeshift garment factory
near Los Angeles.
     The 23 count indictment, returned today in Federal District
Court in Los Angeles, supersedes earlier charges filed against
nine of the Thai defendants on August 17, 1995.  Today's
indictment contains new charges of conspiring and committing acts
of involuntary servitude and kidnapping, and additional charges
of transporting and harboring aliens entering the United States. 
A tenth defendant was added to the new indictment.
     "I am gratified that the investigative work of INS has led
to the indictments issued here today," said Doris Meissner,
Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner.  "We will
continue to work with other Federal agencies to enforce our
immigration laws to support legal workers and close this
country's door to those who traffic in human beings."
     The indictment alleged that the ten defendants enticed Thai
citizens to travel to the United States by promising the victims
high wages, good hours and freedom.  Upon arrival in the U.S.,
the Thai laborers were transported to a work compound where they
were told they would be confined and forced to work up to 20
hours at a time.  The victims were housed in an apartment complex
in El Monte, California encased by razor wire and spiked fences.
Full-time guards were hired to prevent the workers from leaving
the compound. 
     The indictment further alleged that the defendants used
threats against the victims and their families to force the
workers to remain in the El Monte compound. 
     "These allegations are shocking and show that slavery is not
a thing of the past," said Deval L. Patrick, Assistant Attorney
General for Civil Rights. 
       Counts two through eight of the indictment charged the
defendants with committing involuntary servitude. Counts nine
through fifteen charged the defendants with kidnapping, counts
sixteen through twenty-two charged them with transporting aliens
and count twenty-three charged them with harboring undocumented
aliens.  The first count charged the defendants with conspiring
to commit these acts.
     If convicted, the defendants face a sentence of up to life
in prison.
     "The Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Federal
Bureau of Investigation are to be commended for their extensive
investigation of this case," said Nora M. Manella, U.S. Attorney
in Los Angeles.  "Today's superseding indictment reflects this
office's and federal law enforcement's commitment to bring those
responsible for the El Monte slave labor garment operation to
     Eight of the defendants, Suni Manasurangkun, Wirachai
Manasurangkun, Surachai Manasurangkun, Phanasak Manasurangkun,
Sunthon Rawangchaisong, Seri Kananchakphairi, Rampha
Satthaprasit, and Suphon Wiraytwilai are in federal custody as a
result of the earlier charges.  The two others, Sanchai
Manasurangkun and Chavalit Manasurangkun, are presently at large.
     This case was investigated by the Immigration and
Naturalization Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 
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