LOS ANGELES – A woman whom Orange County authorities described as a Saudi royal princess was charged Wednesday with human trafficking for allegedly forcing a Kenyan woman to work as a domestic servant.
Meshael Alayban, 42, was taken into custody early Wednesday by police at her Irvine, Calif., home. Orange County prosecutors allege that Alayban forced the woman to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week, for only $220 a month. Authorities say she was unable to flee because Alayban kept the woman’s passport and documents.
Authorities said the woman left the home on Tuesday. She boarded a bus and eventually contacted police.
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas on Wednesday charged Alayban with one felony count of human trafficking.
“The law of our nation and California does not tolerate people who deprive or violate the liberty of another and obtain forced labor or services,” Rackauckas said. “If any person is being enslaved, he or she should contact law enforcement.”
In addition to the Kenyan woman, police said officers found four other workers being held under similar circumstances at Alayban’s home. Detectives continue to investigate.
Prosecutors requested that Alayban be held without bail because she was a flight risk. But a judge ordered she be held in lieu of $5 million. He also ordered her to surrender her passport, not to travel outside Orange County and to wear a monitor if released.
Orange County prosecutors identified Alayban as one of the wives of Saudi Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud.