By Gary Libby from the September 2007 CAFAM Newsletter
The following comes from the Portland Eastern Argus of April 24, 1895, and demonstrates to what lengths human traffickers would go to circumvent anti-Chinese immigration laws.
IN VENTILATED COFFINS
The Latest Scheme for Smuggling Chinamen into this Country
Montreal, Que., April 23 – A gang of Chinese smugglers has been unearthed here and some arrests are expected shortly. There are said to be 80 or more in different parts of the country acting in collusion. The modus operandi is: Chinamen come here from Vancouver and are shipped in batches of six to Quebec, where they are dressed as women and forwarded to St. John, N. B. There they are kept in hiding a day or two. Ventilated coffins are provided and in these “corpses” are shipped to Vanceboro, Maine, where they are claimed by another of the gang who arranges for their distribution through the States.