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Human Trafficking Revealed In 'The Snakehead'

Aug 5, 2009 (Fresh Air)

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In 1993, a freighter named the Golden Venture went aground off the shore of Queens, New York. Onboard were 300 terrified, half-starved Chinese immigrants from Fujien, a small province in southern China.

Author Patrick Radden Keefe writes about the incident and the woman who heads up this underground world of human trafficking in his new book The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream. According to Keefe, immigrants from Fujien have been arriving in New York for more than a decade, altering the character of Chinatown.

Keefe contributes to The New Yorker and Slate. His first book, Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping, detailed American "eavesdropping" outposts in England.

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