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Yu Lai Bao

Chinese national Yu Lai-bao has been living on the streets of Kingstown since June. (iNW photo)

A Chinese man whose cousin took away their passports after bringing him, his wife and son to St. Vincent two years ago, was beaten in June and thrown out of the house and has been living on the streets of Kingstown since then.

Yu Lai-bao, 54, who does not speak any English, has been surviving off the kindness of businessman Maxwell Sayers, who operates a 24-hour fruit stall on Bay Street, Kingstown.

Speaking in Mandarin Chinese, Yu told iWitness News on Thursday night that he arrived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Nov. 18, 2019, on a Chinese passport, at the invitation of his paternal cousin, who operates three businesses in Kingstown.

Yu’s wife and son are also in St. Vincent and live at Indian Bay with the same cousin, their boss, who also confiscated their travel and other documents.

He told iWitness News that he is the person being beaten in a viral video circulated via WhatsApp on June 18.

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Yu said that his boss asked him to run an errand but he was unwilling to do so and an argument ensued. The argument escalated to the point that Yu’s boss, wife and son beat him.

“They told me to leave or they will have the police come and arrest me. I told them, ‘You brought me here to help you work. Now, you beat me and throw me out and are telling me to find somewhere to live and food to eat.”

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Yu Lai-bao says he has been surviving on bread. (iWN photo)

He told iWitness News that his boss had promised the Vincentian Immigration Department that he would take care of his lodging and food while in St. Vincent.

“I don’t have any money. The fruit vendor gives me $10 every day. I want to go back to China. I am sleeping on the street. The whole of St. Vincent knows there is a Chinese man sleeping on the street and eating bread everyday.

“I have been sleeping here since June 18. The police know that I sleep here. This is difficult. In China, I was living a good life. Now, I am sleeping on the street, eating bread every day,” said Yu, who told iWitness News that he and his cousin are also neighbours in China.

“When I came, the arrangement was for me to work with my boss for three year then return to China. At the end of my stint, my boss was to buy my ticket home. If I were to decide to go back on my own, I would be responsible for my ticket and if my boss sent me back earlier than planned, he would also be responsible for my ticket.”

Yu said that his boss paid he, his wife, and son, EC$2,000 each per month

He told iWitness News that a Vincentian who speaks Mandarin had accompanied him to police headquarters and immigration department.

Further, iWitness News was reliably informed that after the video of the beating emerged on June 18, someone called it to the attention of senior police officers, telling them that that it could be a case of human trafficking.

Yu said that he has visited on several occasions, the Financial Complex — the building in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister’s Office are located — in an effort to have his situation addressed.

He further told iWitness News that he has visited the Taiwan embassy, which was unable to help him because he is not a Taiwan national.

Yu said that the Immigration Department has said that his cousin has indicated that he would purchase a ticket for him to leave on Nov. 15.

“If my boss had said on June 18 that he was going to send me back, all of this would not have happened. He beat me, beat my son; his wife also beat me. He kept scaring me, saying he would call the police. Then, at 9 p.m. told me to leave, saying that if I don’t leave, he would call the police to arrest me.

Yu Lai Bao 3
Yu Lai-bao show photos of injuries he said he sustained when he was beaten on June 18.

Yu, who showed iWitness News photos of the injuries he said he suffered in the beating, said that after his cousin threw him out, his cousin said that the police would arrest him if he went to the hospital for medical attention.

He said that sometime after the incident, the police took him into custody, and his son came and took him to the hospital for medical attention.

The police released Yu after two days, he said.

Yu said that his wife and son are willing to help him but are unable to do so because of the situation in which they live in St. Vincent.

Meanwhile, Sayers told iWitness News that when Yu came by on June 18, he allowed him to sleep in his van.

“I thought it was something short. I never knew it would have prolonged to this moment.”

Sayers said that when Yu came, he was pointed to an injury to his head.

“I saw the video before and that’s why I understood where he was coming from. We use Google Translate to communicate and he even told me his name, his age, his family. We use Google Translate and speak from time to time.

“It’s a sad situation. Everyone who passes, it’s obvious that everyone is seeing and talking about it. “

Sayers said that a Vincentian who studied in Taiwan had visited Yu and took him to the police station and Taiwan embassy.

“I asked him what the conversation was about and he typed it on his phone saying it was about his flight — his flight being delayed. He said it was supposed to be aroundthe 7th of November but it was delayed. An immigration officer said they were trying to get a connecting flight but that is the issue.”

Sayers confirmed to iWitness News that he gives Yu EC$10 everyday.

“During the day, he would go over the road and walk out and eat. Once he is here, I will make sure to give him $10 every morning. I give him that to get breakfast,” Sayers said.

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26 replies on “Chinese man living on K’town streets raises human trafficking questions”

  1. That is really sad, I hope the authorities will step in to help this man and his family and get tham back to China, his cousin should be charge for assault.

  2. That is such a darn shame. You want to tell me that the authorities in saint Vincent don’t see or hear if this foreigner plight and take some kind of action to solve this man problems. Why is he still on the streets and only being fed on bread when there are so much food in svg. You people are very backward down there. Report the matter to Ralph and get some kind of help for this man my heard break when I read. This.

  3. Avatar Of Newly AlexanderNewly Alexander says:

    The police need to intervein and let the man have his wife and child to go home with him,is this wrights for someone to offer u and your wife a job opportuniti then illtrete u fire u and keep your wife? They think they are in china where u can thief ppl wife, pls Mr commissioner make them give the man’s wife and child back it’s very hard also very expensive to get a wife in china that man must have paid a fortune to get his wife it’s a crime to have him go home without her,please Mr commissioner do the wright thing let justice prevail don’t let them getaway with it, the human trafficking.

  4. This is so shameful and heart wrenching. So sorry this has happen to you. This evil shall never go unpunished. I wish you well and a safe trip back to China.

  5. Avatar Of Juliette BoucherJuliette Boucher says:

    Mr Sayers I thank God for someone like you I pray that God will bless you abundantly and increase you in every area of your life.

  6. Avatar Of Brenda White MyersBrenda White Myers says:

    God will continue to bless you Maxwell Sayers, for your selfless deed.

    I was in town and asked for that Chinese gentleman in the store.

    It’s not esay to live in another man’s country not speaking the first language, far more as a vagrant, my Lord.

    I really pray he gets to go back to his native land.

  7. I have seen this man for myself o lord what have some of us come to within this SVG, as people have said what happen with the police and authorities seeing this situation and not doing a thing ?? Mr Sayers dont know you but thank you, there are still some real real good people in SVG. One can only hope he gets back safely home….. Im sure Iwitness can also help this mans plight straight talk Uno know people fix up

  8. Avatar Of Leonard Slaterleonard slater says:

    I have always compared SVG to Haiti. (“SVG ,little Haiti”). I said time and time again that the powers to be in SVG have lost their moral compass, and is also morally bankrupt.

  9. Some people brutality knows no bounds so we go to svg to live amoung and be a part of like minded no wonder they are a closed group wherever they go and we welcome them with open arms soon will be in ruling positions in svg

  10. Avatar Of Darleen EdwardsDarleen Edwards says:

    Poor man,thank you Mr.Sayers for your help .. GOD bless u … That man who did that to the man should be charge…. He to wicked n heartless,how can u bring some one to vincy and abandon them .. wickedness

  11. This is how they treat thier own ! If this is accurate there must be an investigation. They should be charged accordingly. Passport issue i need an investigation. Questions of kidnapping and working under stress. Under paid. Improper healthcare. Inguiring about mental illnesses and so on need to be addressed without bias. Svg is slowly becoming like some parts of the Caribbean Islands and the USA etc. Love peace justice and protection on SVG.

  12. Give this man a business permit and funding let him start a business you will see how fast his business grows. Give the man a chance.

  13. I don’t know where the churches and other charity organizations does be when these things are taking place. And the police well they are just a bunch of child hating women beating set of hypocrites.

  14. Avatar Of Jannette BurkeJannette Burke says:

    This would not be an easy task for the officials. If one has never dealt with Chinese and/or human trafficking – they are very loyal until they are 100% sure of an escape and do not often trust authorities. In Uk and Europe where such is common – bodies turn up daily in the most unexpected places. Recently, a young pilot was before the courts for dropping illegals at remote airports in the dark.

  15. Maxwell may God be with you blood ..you ah real G!! Mek water touch me eyes when I heard this here boi..WHO FEELS IT KNOWS!!! #GOODDEEDS #GOODPPL

  16. I would like to know where is the Chinese community in this case. As he was wrongly treated. Don’t you guys stand of for one another. When the video was circulating I remember one of the Chinese getting upset because it was being viewed and laughed at. If you was upset then why you not helping him now.

  17. I’m sure some dem dotish police man see the video on social media and ain’t say boi this nah right and show those at the head wey gine on. Vincy really need help ana if is U.K police that man getting dealt with immediately n good. And foreign affairs couldn’t reach out to China and work out some flight or sumu!!!!

  18. I’m still trying to figure out if this man was a slave. It is human trafficking for sure. Anytime you bring some one to a foreign country and take away their passport, that amount to human trafficking. Why was his uncle not investigated and charge. These people come into the Caribbean Islands and behave like Gods and the Politicians allow it. Usually it is the locals who are treated badly.

    I really feel bad for this man, because it can happen to anyone. A lot of West Indians treat their own overseas like that also.

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