Police rescue 600 locked up in Kano rice factory for 6 months

At least 600 workers forced to stay in a rice mill for three months were rescued by the police in Kano State, a spokesman announced on Tuesday.

There are suspicions the illegal act was committed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

The workers, mostly labourers, were rescued from ‘Popular Farm Rice’ located at Challawa Industrial Area in Kano metropolis, the police spokesperson in Kano, DSP Abdullahi Haruna, said.

“We have found many workers locked and enslaved in the factory,” he said.

Policemen reportedly stormed the factory on Monday after obtaining a court injunction, arresting four managers and releasing the detained workers.

The workers were alleged to be denied access outside the premises of the company for fear of bringing coronavirus into the factory.

The workers were initially asked to stay back at work for two weeks without going to their respective houses after which they were asked to stay for another two weeks only to end up spending over three months without seeing their families and not properly fed.

DSP Haruna said an investigation had commenced to unravelling the circumstances behind the illegal act, adding that four management staff of the factory had been arrested.

According to him, the state commissioner of police, Habu Sani, has ordered a thorough investigation into the matter.

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