A Chinese national nearly died after having served as a ”blood slave” for six months, living only to have his blood forcefully and regularly donated as he was held hostage in Cambodia by a human trafficking organization.
The victim, a 31-year-old security guard from eastern Jiangsu Province in China, had escaped from his handlers earlier this month with help from one of the gangsters who turned out to be a defector.
The man, only identified by the surname Li, checked himself into a Cambodian hospital on Feb. 12 where he is recovering from the after effects of chronic blood harvesting, which resulted in severe organ malfunction and nearly cost his life.
Li also suffered several bruises and had different needle marks on his body.
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A Feb. 17 article by South China Morning Post reported based on a report in the Chinese-language Asia Pacific Times that Li said he was trapped in the human trafficking scheme via a false job advertisement posted by a fake company on a Chinese classifieds website similar to Craigslist.
When Li attended the apparent job interview in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in southern China, he was kidnapped by a gang of criminals who escorted him at gunpoint to the China-Vietnam border where he was transported to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and later to Sihanoukville, Cambodia by ship.
In Cambodia, Li was sold to another gang for $18,500 USD where he was held with at least seven other male captives as human trafficking victims.
The mobsters used electric prods to break down their victims and force them to comply.
“From top managers to HR staff [of this company] are all Chinese. They treat us coldly,” Li said according to SCMP, adding that the thugs treated him and the other abductees as “tools for making money.”
A blood-chilling story
When Li refused to work for the syndicate and the mobsters found out he was an orphan with no well-to-do relatives to extort money from, they decided to put him to use for his vital essence, his blood—or his organs, in case he was not willing to cooperate.
According to the article, one of the crooks prostrated himself as a “doctor.” The man exclaimed on the occasion of Li’s first blood test: “Your type O blood is quite valuable!”
Because Type O blood is so versatile and coveted, and therefore valuable, the organization decided to milk him for all he’s worth.
According to guidelines set forth by the Red Cross, one should observe a period of at least 56 days before donating blood again, with a maximum of 500 ml (17.5 ounces) extracted each time.
Because Li’s blood was so profitable, he was subjected to a monthly regime of about 800 ml (27 ounces) of forced blood drainage, which was likely sold to private buyers online.
Even though blood fluid will regenerate within three to four days, it can take months for red blood cells to be fully replenished.
SCMP reported that When Li’s veins in his arms failed to provide enough blood, the hoodlums turned to the veins in his neck.
The Chinese embassy in Cambodia reminded Chinese citizens who want to work in Cambodia “to follow formal channels and not to believe in false adverts for high-paying jobs,” it said in a statement.
Management for the classified website Li was lured from in turn told Communist Party media on Feb. 17 it will fully cooperate with an upcoming police investigation, albeit that it said it had “not yet established” the fraudulent ad on their platform.
It hasn’t been the first time Chinese workers or other nationals were being held by local gangs for forced labor or bodily exploitation in Southeast Asia.
In October last year, a laborers’ rights organization China Labor Watch sounded the alarm after five men from China who were being exploited as contract workers in Indonesia washed up on the Malaysian shore.