Chinese workers sue Saipan casino over forced labor scheme

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (AP) — Seven Chinese men allege in a lawsuit that they were victims of a forced labor scheme while constructing a Saipan casino.

The lawsuit says the casino and its contractors violated U.S. trafficking laws by exploiting the workers. Saipan is part of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The lawsuit was filed in December. It was amended Friday to add trafficking claims and to include casino owner Imperial Pacific as a defendant.

Representatives for Hong Kong-based Imperial Pacific and the contractors named in the lawsuit couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit, the men were subjected to 12-hour workdays, dormitories without showers and a dangerous construction site. The lawsuit says Imperial Pacific ignored its contractors' exploitative and illegal practices in a rush to finish the project.