Chinese supermarket owners held in child labor case

Judicial Investigating Organization photo
One of two Chinese store owners goes into custody.

Police arrested two Chinese nationals, a man and a woman, on suspicion of exploiting the woman’s 16-year-old half-sister as a worker. The arrests took place during an early morning raid Monday, according to a judicial bulletin.

The two people arrested are the man, Li Li Jian Feng, 26, and the woman, He Qui Ayan, 23. They both own a supermarket in the vicinity of San Juan de Santa Barbara in Heredia, and police had been investigating the two for four months, according to a spokesperson from the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The bulletin says that the girl worked 19 hours per day at the store for seven days a week and was given just one meal every day. The report says that someone her age may only work 36 hours per week. The girl is now in the custody of the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, said agents.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the raid took place at 5 a.m. and that the suspects were found at the rear of the store. The teen was found in unhealthy conditions, the agency said. Agents also reported finding boxes of alcoholic beverages that may be contraband, they said.

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