Police Rescue Hundreds Of Workers Locked Up In Kano Rice Factory By Indian Owners

Police in Nigeria have rescued more than 100 people they say were locked in a rice-processing factory owned by Popular farms and forced to work throughout the coronavirus lockdown.

From the end of March the men were allegedly not allowed to leave the mill in Kano.

The workers were promised an additional monthly payment on top of their salary – those who did not accept were threatened with the sack.

Five managers at the Indian-owned mill have been arrested.

Police spokesman Abdullahi Haruna told the BBC that the plant had now been shut down and the owners were being investigated for “holding the men against their will”.

He said that 126 people had been found, although workers told the BBC there were 300.

Some of the men say were forced to work most of the time during their incarceration, with little food.

“We were allowed to rest for only a short time, no prayers were allowed, no family visits,” 28-year-old Hamza Ibrahim, one of those rescued, told the BBC’s Mansur Abubakar in Kano.