Human trafficking: Thai agricultural workers allegedly forced to pay for jobs 

WHAT: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed lawsuits against Beverly Hills labor contractor Global Horizons and six farms in Hawaii and two in Washington, alleging exploitation of more than 200 Thai workers lured to the U.S.

WHY: Recruiters allegedly charged impoverished Thai workers fees as high as $26,500 to secure guest-worker visas for supposedly well-paid, steady agricultural jobs. Instead, their passports were seized, pay was withheld and they lived in rat-infested shacks.

HOW: Workers said they were threatened with being sent back to Thailand if they complained about abuse, lack of work and bad living conditions. Many were afraid to return because they owed so much of the borrowed money to finance their “job fees.”

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