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International News: Honduran migrant forced to work at Texas restaurant lived off customers’ scraps

Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2022. 11:59 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: A Honduran migrant that was forced to work at a Texas restaurant lived off customers’ scraps, officials say.

Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that Hai Zhuang, who operated the ‘Fun Noodle Bar’ in Abilene, was arrested on Wednesday.

Zhuang is being accused of human trafficking, forcing a man to work and live like a slave.

Javier Rodriguez-Castro, an immigrant who was smuggled into the US in 2021 told authorities that he was taken to Fun Noodle after a brief stay at a stash house.

Zhuang reportedly handed cash to the man who brought Rodriguez-Castro, a few $50 and $100 bills.

Rodriguez-Castro would work for Zhuang for 6 months, he was told, earning $2,000 every month. The shelter would be provided, and food would be given.

But after that, Rodriguez-Castro was taken to a house and his passport was taken away.

At the restaurant, he worked 10-12 hour shifts, and leaving the house was not permitted since a vehicle would pick him up to and from the restaurant.

He wasn’t fed so he ate leftovers and scraps from customers’ plates. He also didn’t have breaks for the bathroom.

The pay never arrived but still Castro kept working.

Castro later escaped with the help of another man and fled to Dallas.

Zhuang was arrested on a charge of trafficking a person. His bail has been set at $200,000.

 

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