17 Jul 2004

US President trumpets American Samoa illegal labour case

9:06 am on 17 July 2004

The US President George W Bush has described the owner of a closed garment factory in American Samoa, as a criminal gang leader, that enslaved more than 200 Asian workers in the territory.

Mr Bush made the comment when he spoke at the National Training Conference on Human Trafficking in Tampa, Florida.

He described the prosecution undertaken by the US federal Department of Justice as the largest human trafficking case in American history.

The owner of Daewoosa Samoa, Kil Soo Lee, was last year convicted for being the ringleader of a gang that had smuggled more than 200 Vietnamese and Chinese nationals to work as slave labourers in American Samoa.

Lee will be sentenced in October.