Posted on November 8, 2022

Abilene Restaurant Owner Accused of Human Trafficking, Forcing Immigrant to Work for Free

Erica Garner, KTAB, November 3, 2022

The owner of an Abilene restaurant has been charged with human trafficking, accused of holding an undocumented immigrant in a home and forcing him to work with no money or food for six months.

Hai Zhuang was arrested on a Trafficking of Persons warrant {snip}


This immigrant told investigators he was smuggled into the United States with 12 others from Hondarus in January 2021 {snip}

When he arrived, the documents state this immigrant was at the Fun Noodle Bar on Southwest Drive in Abilene, and he saw Zhuang, who is the owner, exchange a large stack of money with the man who brought him there.


However, this immigrant says Zhuang took him to a house in Abilene and hid his passport, and the documents state the immigrant claims he was then forced to work 10-to-12-hour days {snip}

This immigrant also said he was beaten by Zhuang, and when he requested his first $2,000 payment, Zhuang told him “that they owned him now,” according to the documents.