HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific, the owner of a multi-billion Saipan gaming project, is being sued by former construction workers who say they were victims of forced labor and human trafficking on the U.S.-administered Pacific island.
Seven Chinese construction workers made the claim via a filing on Friday to the Federal Court in Saipan, part of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Compensation - Pain - Suffering - Damages
They are seeking unspecified monetary compensation for pain and suffering as well as punitive damages.
Imperial Pacific did not respond to a request for comment.
Island - Saipan - United - States - End
The lush mountainous island of Saipan, controlled by the United States since the end of World War Two, approved a casino in 2014, after which Chinese investment skyrocketed.
Imperial Pacific has the sole license to operate a casino in Saipan but has faced a slew of delays and setbacks to open its hotel resort.
Scrutiny - Project - Death - Construction - Worker
Scrutiny of the project intensified after the death of a construction worker in 2017 and an FBI raid that found a list of more than 150 undocumented workers in a contractor’s offices, as well as a safe containing several thousand dollars in U.S. currency, several hundred Chinese yuan and employee pay stubs.
Several executives have resigned over the past year and worker protests have been a recurring theme as they claim unpaid wages and injuries.
The filing, which...
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