Saudi princess charged in US

MESHAEL ALAYBAN. A handout booking image of Saudi Arabian national Meshael Alayban, who was arrested July 10 for alleged human trafficking. EPA/IRVINE POLICE DEPARTMENT

A Saudi princess has been charged in California with enslaving a Kenyan woman, forcing her to work in abusive conditions and holding her passport hostage, US authorities said. Meshael Alayban, 42, one of 6 wives of a grandson of the Saudi King Abdullah, is accused of forcing the Kenyan woman to work 16 hour days, 7 days a week, for a monthly salary of just US$220. When police arrested Alayban, they found 4 women from the Philippines who could also be victims of human trafficking. Those cases are still being investigated. The unnamed woman, 30, who sought overseas work to pay for her young daughter’s medical care, allegedly worked in Alayban’s palace in Saudi Arabia and then in her home in Irvine, California, southeast of Los Angeles. Bail for Alayban, who was arrested July 10, has been set at $5 million.

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