French Prosecutors Investigate Modern Slavery Claims Against Saudi Prince

French prosecutors said Monday they were investigating allegations that a Saudi prince held seven workers in modern slavery at an apartment he owned outside of Paris.

The human trafficking investigation was opened after the women, mostly from the Philippines, filed complaints about modern slavery in October 2019, the prosecutor’s office in the Nanterre suburb said.

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 added, who declined to be named.

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

The alleged abuse took place in 2008, 2013 and 2015 in the apartment in the chic suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine west of the capital.

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

Some had 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 them, it was shocking to see that they were hungry. They were crying with hunger,” Anick Fougeroux, head of the NGO, SOS Esclaves (“Slaves”), told the newspaper.


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