A Saudi Arabian princess living in California was recently accused of holding slaves after of one of her five maids escaped her Irvine residence.
Princess Meshal Albayan, wife of the Saudi Arabian prince Abdulraham bin Nassar bin Abdulazis al Saud, may be the first person in Orange County to be prosecuted for human trafficking after Proposition 35 raised the penalty for the crime last November.
The Kenyan maid who escaped Albayan’s third story apartment reported to police that she was forced to work 16 hour days for only $220 a month, a drastic difference from the $1600 a month her two-year contract promised.
Albayan kept her five maids confined to the apartment and permitted no days off. In order to flee her working environment, the maid escaped the house and flagged down a bus to reach the Irvine Police.
“The laws of our nation and California do not tolerate people who deprive or violate the liberty of another and obtain forced labor or services,” Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in a statement.
Albayan hired the Kenyan maid in 2012 as a domestic servant in Syria while residing in her family’s palace. She allegedly stole passports from the maid upon her arrival in the U.S.
The four remaining Filipino maids eagerly agreed to leave with the police after authorities searched the home.
Police arrested Albayan early Wednesday morning. So far, she has been charged with one felony count of human trafficking and is being held in the Orange County Jail with a $5 million bail. If convicted, she faces up to 12 years in prison.