US: Saudi princess held for forced labour

2013-07-11 11:00
Meshael Alayban. (Irvine Police Department, AP)

Meshael Alayban. (Irvine Police Department, AP)

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Los Angeles - A Saudi princess has been charged with human trafficking for allegedly holding a Kenyan maid against her will in a luxury California apartment, news reports said late on Wednesday.

Meshael Alayban, aged 42, was charged on Wednesday after being arrested at her home in a gated community in Irvine, California.

Prosecutors allege Alayban took the woman's passport and forced her to work as a domestic servant for 16 hours a day, seven days a week for just $220 a month, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A judge set bail of $5m for Alayban, and ordered her to wear a monitor if released from the women's jail where she was being held.

"The law of our nation and California does not tolerate people who deprive or violate the liberty of another and obtain forced labour or services," District Attorney Tony Rackauckas was quoted as saying.

The maid, whose identity was not released, began working for Alayban and her family in Saudi Arabia last year before moving to the US with them, the report said.

When police arrived at Alayban's home they found four other women from the Philippines, who said their travel documents had also been taken by Alayban.

The Kenyan woman managed to escape from the apartment complex on Tuesday, before boarding a bus and contacting police.

Orange County prosecutors identified Alayban as one of the wives of Saudi Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud. She faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted of human trafficking.

Read more on:    us  |  human trafficking

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