Friday, July 12, 2013

Saudi princess charged with human trafficking

audi princess charged with human trafficking

By CNN Staff
updated 3:49 PM EDT, Thu July 11, 2013
  • NEW: Princess appears in court, but judge continues her arraignment to July 29
  • Meshael Alayban faces one felony count of human trafficking
  • Her alleged victim is a 30-year-old Kenyan woman who worked for her, police say
  • If convicted, Alayban faces up to 12 years in prison
(CNN) -- A woman identified as a Saudi Arabian princess has been accused of holding a domestic servant against her will at her condominium in Irvine, California.
Meshael Alayban, 42, faces one felony count of human trafficking. Court details released Thursday say Alayban is one of the wives of Saudi Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud.
Alayban appeared in an Orange County court in Santa Ana on Thursday, and the judge continued the arraignment until July 29. Her attorney couldn't be reached immediately for comment.
Alayban is being held in the Orange County jail in lieu of $5 million bail. She faces a maximum sentence of 12 years if convicted.
Police say the servant is a 30-year-old woman, originally from Kenya, who managed to escape Tuesday and flag down a bus. A passenger helped her contact the Irvine Police Department.
Investigators say the alleged victim had contracted to work with Alayban's family in Saudi Arabia in March 2012. Her salary was set at $1,600 a month for working eight hours a day, five days a week. But once she arrived in Saudi Arabia, the servant says, her passport was taken from her. She also says she was paid only $220 a month and forced to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week.
Police say Alayban's family traveled to the United States in May with the alleged victim and four women from the Philippines under similar contracts.
Armed with a search warrant, Irvine detectives and immigration and homeland security agents later found the four other women in the condominium, a news release from police and the Orange County District Attorney's Office says. Police say all five women are in good health, and at this time, there are no indications of physical abuse.
This is the first forced labor human trafficking case to be prosecuted in Orange County under California's Proposition 35, which passed in November and increased the penalty for human trafficking.
CNN's Chandrika Narayan, Michael Martinez and Stella Chan contributed to this report.


  1. In May 2013, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced a minimum monthly wage of SR 1,500 (US $ 400) for all Filipino Household Service Workers, a minimum of eight hours rest each day, a weekly rest day, paid vacation leave including return economy airfare to Manila, non-withholding of passports and work permits, free communication and humane treatment. If she is only paying her Filipina maids US $ 220 per month, this Princess is also violating the law of her own country.

    Sadly, there are far worse examples of exploitation and slavery of Filipinos working abroad. Over the past 35 years, Step Up Marine Enterprise, a Singapore-based 'manning agency' is alleged to have deployed thousands of Asian men, including Filipinos, to work on Taiwanese tuna trawlers, for up to 22 hours a day, seven days a week, for months on end with no time off, for just US $50 per month. Singapore's Ministry of Manpower has known about this for years, but has done nothing to bring the perpetrators to justice.

  2. Be careful at times with mafias of different origins, they function across the globe, regardless of their size or affilitations... They think like cut throat CEOs, some are well armed with specific tactics, and they know how to maximize $$$$ at any human cost. Policing certain corrupt organizations is difficult, but undercover agents have been used successfully in the past, even if rarely.


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