MOSCOW, January 28 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow police pressed charges Monday against the Vietnamese сo-owner of a sweatshop accused of employing 700 slaves.
The suspect, along with seven others from Vietnam, Syria, Iraq and Azerbaijan, ran an illegal sewing factory in a Moscow suburb, police said.
The factory in a warehouse was staffed by illegal migrants, mostly from Vietnam.
They spoke no Russian and sweatshop organizers had seized their documents to prevent them from leaving, according to police.
The warehouse in eastern Moscow was raided by police in July, but some of the alleged ringleaders, including the unnamed Vietnamese, dodged arrest.
The suspects face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of slavery.
The ring was exposed as part of sweeping anti-migrant raids triggered by an attack on a policeman in a Moscow marketplace.
The assault was blamed on people from the North Caucasus, a predominantly Muslim part of Russia whose residents are treated by many Russians outside the North Caucasus as unwelcome foreigners.
Russia had at least 3 million illegal migrants in 2013, according to the Federal Migration Service.
The country ranked sixth in the world for the absolute number of slaves in a report by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation last October.