French prosecutors probe 'slavery' claims against Saudi prince

Published July 5, 2021
The inquiry for human trafficking was opened after the women, most from the Philippines, filed complaints of modern-day slavery in October 2019, said the prosecutors' office. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
The inquiry for human trafficking was opened after the women, most from the Philippines, filed complaints of modern-day slavery in October 2019, said the prosecutors' office. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

French prosecutors said on Monday they are investigating claims that a Saudi prince kept seven employees in a state of modern-day slavery at an apartment he owned outside Paris.

The inquiry for human trafficking was opened after the women, most from the Philippines, filed complaints of modern-day slavery in October 2019, said the prosecutors' office in the suburb city of Nanterre.

The maids had been recruited in Saudi Arabia and worked for the prince and his family there and in France, a source close to the case, who refused to be named, added.

They apparently escaped during a trip to France, the source said.

The alleged abuse occurred in 2008, 2013 and 2015 at the apartment in the posh Neuilly-sur-Seine suburb west of the capital.

Prosecutors heard testimony from the women a few weeks ago, but the prince has yet to be questioned since he is not currently in France, the source said.

Some were required to sleep on the floor and barely had time to eat while serving the prince's four children, according to Le Parisien newspaper.

“The first time we met with them, what was shocking to see was that they were hungry. They were crying with hunger,” Anick Fougeroux, president of the aid group SOS Esclaves (“Slaves“), told the paper.

Opinion

Editorial

Elections in India
Updated 21 Apr, 2024

Elections in India

Independent accounts and spot reports are at variance with Modi-friendly TV anchors and they do not see an easy victory for the Indian premier.
IHC letter
21 Apr, 2024

IHC letter

THIS is a historic opportunity for the judiciary to define its institutional boundaries. It must not be squandered....
Olympic preparations
21 Apr, 2024

Olympic preparations

THIS past week marked the beginning of the 100-day countdown to the Paris Olympics, with the symbolic torch-lighting...
Isfahan strikes
Updated 20 Apr, 2024

Isfahan strikes

True de-escalation means Israel must start behaving like a normal state, not a rogue nation that threatens the entire region.
President’s speech
20 Apr, 2024

President’s speech

PRESIDENT Asif Ali Zardari seems to have managed to hit all the right notes in his address to the joint sitting of...
Karachi terror
20 Apr, 2024

Karachi terror

IS urban terrorism returning to Karachi? Yesterday’s deplorable suicide bombing attack on a van carrying five...