Saudi princess living in the US charged with human trafficking
Meshael Alayban was arrested in California and charged with allegedly holding a Kenyan maid against her will. She could face up to 12 years in prison
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Thursday 11 July 2013
A Saudi princess living in the US has been charged with human trafficking for allegedly holding a Kenyan maid against her will and forcing her to work long hours for minimal pay.
Meshael Alayban, 42, was arrested in Irvine, California, on Wednesday after a woman with a suitcase boarded a bus and told another passenger she was a victim of trafficking.
The 30-year-old victim, who has not been named, told police she was hired in Kenya in March last year and went to Saudi Arabia. Upon her arrival in the kingdom, her passport was taken away. In May this year, she travelled to the US with the family and four other domestic workers from the Philippines.
In California, she worked for several members of the Alayban family in four luxury apartments, and was not permitted to leave the complex without someone accompanying her. According to prosecutors, she was made to work 16 hours a day for seven days a week, for a little over $200 (£130) a month. When she complained about her treatment and asked to be given her passport, Ms Alayban allegedly refused.
Ms Alayban, who is one of the wives of Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud – a member of the Saudi royal family – was ordered by a judge to wear a tracking device to prevent her from leaving the country.
The Saudi consulate in Los Angeles reportedly agreed to pay her $5m bail. If convicted, she faces up to 12 years in prison.
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
Royal Tour 2014: Is the Duchess of Cambridge the only person ever to climb into a fighter jet wearing a dress and high heels?
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband: Inside North Korea with the Pyongyang marathon winner
Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 'Natural' energy drink banned for containing erectile dysfunction drug
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Angus Steakhouse: How does tourist staple continue to thrive in today's gourmet market?
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...