KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — A shipment of 4.68 million latex gloves produced by a Top Glove Corporation Berhad subsidiary was seized by authorities in the Port of Kansas, Missouri following findings that the products were produced under forced labour, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently revealed.
A public statement on CBP’s portal dated May 12, 2021 revealed the shipment that originated from Malaysia was worth in the region of US$690,000 (RM2.8 million) and was confiscated while on its way to Kansas City.
This is the second such seizure in a week after the CBP had on May 5, taken into custody US$518,000 (RM2.13 million) worth of disposable gloves, also produced by Top Glove over similar indications that they were produced under forced labour.
The statement explained the seizure comes following a March 29 directive from the CBP which instructed all enforcement personnel at US entry ports to begin confiscating disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by Top Glove.
“CBP personnel seized the shipment due to information indicating that the gloves were made by forced labor, a form of modern slavery.
“The shipment in Kansas City was seized after an inspection by CBP officers revealed that the gloves were produced in Malaysia by a subsidiary of Top Glove,” read the statement issued by the CBP.
“Considering this seizure took place in the heartland of America, it goes to show that imports produced by forced labor affect everyone nationwide,” Kansas City’s port director Steven Ellis said in the statement.
The statement included numbers cited from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) which indicated how up to 25 million people worldwide suffer under conditions of forced labour.
It explained the March 29 directive to seize products from Top Glove was issued based on evidence of multiple “forced labour indicators” within Top Glove’s production process, such as debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions and retention of identity documentation.
“Imports made by forced labor hurt vulnerable workers, threaten American jobs and businesses, and subject unsuspecting American consumers to making unethical purchases,” read the statement.
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