This sounds oh so familiar. I have seen it all. My favorite was the startup that brought Belarusian devs into the country as Baptist missionaries who “volunteered” as programmers. Paychecks constantly late … always an excuse. I emptied a reserve paypal account helping two escape and fly back home (thankfully the exchange rate made it very easy). They hot bunked in the same office they were working in and lived off of vending machine garbage. We have startups in this country that are basically slavers. What you experienced was tame.