Costa Rica has announced it will prosecute the owners of two Taiwanese fishing vessels from which they rescued 36 Asian crew members, including 15 Vietnamese, from slavery last month.
The information was posted online by the Overseas Labor Administration of Vietnam's Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, which was quoting a statement from the Vietnamese embassy in Panama on Friday.
The embassy says it has completed the procedures for repatriating the 15 Vietnamese sailors as well as six compatriots who had fled from the boats off the city of Puntarenas last May.
The six escapees had done menial work onshore until this March, when they'd asked the local authorities to get word of their and the fellows' plight.
They said they had worked in harsh conditions on the Yulon 70 since April 14 last year.
After the complaint was lodged, police raided the two boats and rescued the enslaved Vietnamese, Indonesian, Filipino, Taiwanese and Chinese fishermen.
San Jose officials said the crewmen had been forced to work 20 hours a day, and had often been starved and beaten.
The men said they'd been promised US$250 a month in their employment contracts, of which they would keep $20 and the rest would be sent to their families, but they had received nothing.