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Home >> China
UPDATED: 09:15, June 24, 2007
Six civil servants in north China being investigated for forced labor scandal
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Six civil servants in connection with the forced labor scandal in north China's Shanxi Province are being investigated for dereliction, sources with the local procuratorate said on Saturday.

The six people include Wei Xiong, head of the land and resources office of Guangshengsi town of Hongtong county; Cao Jun, another official with the office; Guo Weimin and Wei Shihong, both vice head of the industry and commerce office of Guangshengsi; and local policemen Xi Zhiqiang and Li Ding.

Wei Xiong and Cao Jun failed to close down the brick kiln after they learnt of its illegal operation.

Guo Weimin and Wei Shihong were suspected of making no inspections to the brick kilns, resulting in the rampancy of illegal kilns.

Xi Zhiqiang, who was in charge of the area where the brick kiln is located, did not keep a record of the workers from outside and made no inspections. Li Ding was allegedly turning a blind eye to the migrant workers without temporary residential cards in the brick kiln.

Police authorities have put 35 people under criminal detention and are hunting for 20 others involved in the forced labor scandal at illegal brick kilns in Shanxi.

Two labor watchdog officers in Yongji City of Shanxi have been detained by local police in connection with the slavery scandal.

The use of slave workers hit the headlines after a "call-for-help" letter was posted on the Internet earlier this month by more than 400 parents in Henan who believed their missing children had been sold to the small brick kilns as slave workers.

A total of 359 people, including 12 children, have been rescued from illegal brick kilns in Shanxi.

Source: Xinhua

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