A couple from the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar has been arrested and charged with literally keeping two slaves at their northwest San Antonio home, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Federal prosecutors say Hassan AlHomoud, who is an officer in the Qatari Army, and his wife, Zainab AlHosani, who is a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, were arrested at their home and face up to 20 years in prison on charges of engaging in forced labor.
The indictment claims the couple, who were living in San Antonio because AlHomoud was undergoing miltiary training at Camp Bullis, brought with them a housemaid from Indonesia and an actual 'house servant' from Bangladesh, who were forced to work for them for no pay, and forced to live in 'squalid conditions,' including being deprived of food, had their passport and cell phones taken away, and being forced to sleep on a 'pallet' on the flood.
Shamoil Shipchandler, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, says, he has seen this kind of thing before.
"They were essentially treating these individuals as slaves, instead of having hired labor, or paid labor, that we consider appropriate in this country."
Prosecutor say Al Hosani 'threatened the workers with arrest and incarceration in Qatar if they failed to perform their work obligations.'
"You also see a situation where you bring these people over because they are stranded from home and friends, and you can take advantage of that situation very easily," Shipchandler said.
The case was cracked when a San Antonio Police Officer, while on routine patrol on Camp Bullis Road, encountered one of the slaves 'in apparent distress' and investigated. They then found the apartment with only the pallet on the flood for sleeping.