It's possible that hundreds of victims were brought to American Samoa from May to 15 December, Cendrowski said.In the same way illegal recruiters lured innocent foreigners to the CNMI, these recruiters were said to have lured hundreds of innocent victims from Asia "to earn a better living." Once in the islands they were told that additional fees for housing, the airfare, IDs, and driver's licenses would be deducted from their pay. Sound familiar?
Many were women apparently being used by a prostitution ring that is plaguing the South Pacific, while the men found work in warehouses, restaurants and stores, he said.
One man from China who is now under protective care as a human trafficking victim told investigators he paid $20,000 (NZ$27,000) to get to American Samoa via Samoa, Cendrowski said.
Upon arrival in Pago Pago, the victim didn't undergo immigration clearance.
Instead, immigration officers waived him through and he was taken to the safe house and given a local immigration card, making him a legal resident of the territory, Cendrowski said in court documents.
The man also told officials he didn't take any tests or fill out any paperwork to obtain the documents provided to him.
For several years now, local law enforcement officials, supported by the U.S. Justice Department, have been calling for American Samoa to enact a human trafficking law, due to the lack of one in the territory. The proposed Legislation is titled “Anti-Human Trafficking and Involuntary Servitude."
The first major human trafficking case that surfaced in the territory, and made international headlines, was the Daewoosa Samoa garment factory in 2001. It was the first time many local residents became aware of such a crime. The Daewoosa Samoa case was prosecuted under federal law at the federal court in Honolulu.
Section 7. Amendment of Title 6. Title 6 is amended as follows:UPDATE: A commenter pointed out that the law is not being deleted, BUT the immigration status within the law. I read this to mean all the sections that were listed were to be deleted. Because the law is not posted online, we cannot reference it. If anyone has a copy please share it!
A. Division 1 (Crimes Against the Person), Part 1 (Crimes Against the Person), Chapter 5 (Human Trafficking and Related Offenses), Article 1 (Anti-Trafficking Act), §1508 (Immigration Status) is deleted.