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Self-Described Prison Slave Said to Hide Plea for Help in Upscale Shopping Bag

After picking up a pair of boots at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, a young woman reportedly made an unsettling discovery.

According to a piece on DNAinfo.com, there was a note tucked into the shopping bag, apparently written by the man who made it. He described himself as an ill-treated prisoner in China who was required to work like a slave. That was in September 2012. Efforts to contact the man through various human rights groups were unsuccessful until recently, according to the report.

In a two-hour phone interview, a man who identified himself as Njong said he wrote the letter during his three-year prison sentence in the eastern city of Qingdao, Shandong Province.

Njong was able to identify key facts in the letter unprompted such as it’s mention of Samuel Eto’o, a professional soccer player on English premiere league team Chelsea, who like Njong is from Cameroon in West Africa.

He added that he wrote a total of five letters while he was behind bars — some in French that he hid in bags labeled with French words, and others in English, he said.

The man claimed he was falsely convicted of fraud while teaching English in southern China and, according to DNAinfo, his family had thought him dead until he was released early for good behavior and repatriated. He now reportedly lives in Dubai.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

Peter Z. Scheer
Managing Editor
Peter Scheer grew up in the newspaper business, spending family vacations with his mother at newspaper editors' conferences, enjoying daycare in editorial departments and begrudgingly reviewing his father's…
Peter Z. Scheer

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