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Russian Police Free 30 Vietnamese Slave Laborers

MOSCOW -- Police have freed 30 Vietnamese nationals who were forced into slave labor at an underground garment factory in the town of Yegoryevsk, near Moscow, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The Russian Interior Ministry announced today that a criminal group hired people in Vietnam to work in Yegoryevsk.

Police said when the Vietnamese arrived in Russia their passports were taken away and they were forced to work without pay at the factory in Yegoryevsk. Those who tried to escape were reportedly severely punished.

Police said they arrested two Vietnamese nationals who worked as guards at the factory and a person from Armenia who was the operation's director. An investigation is under way.