A military official from Qatar and his wife were indicted in San Antonio Wednesday, charged with two counts of engaging in forced labor. They are accused of obtaining the labor and services of two persons by means of force, threats of force, physical restraint, and threats of physical restraint.
According to Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr. for the Western District, and Special Agent in Charge James Spero, of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Antonio, court records show that Hassan Salem H.M. Al Homoud and his wife, Zainab Al Hosani and their two children, are living in San Antonio, Texas while Al Homoud is attending military training at Camp Bullis.
In 2014, the defendants brought with them to the U.S. a housemaid and a “servant,” who have continued to work for the family.
The housemaid is a citizen of Indonesia, while the servant is a citizen of Bangladesh. Both were in the U.S. because Al Homoud was a sponsor for their visas.
Al Homoud allegedly kept the workers in primitive conditions and provided limited amounts of food.
The defendants are also alleged to have restricted the two workers’ ability to move or travel by withholding their wages, cell phones, passports, and visas.
A San Antonio Police Department Officer discovered the workers in April. One of them was found on the road, in what the U.S. Attorney’s Office called “apparent distress.”
The officer went to the workers’ apartment, and found it was furnished only with a pallet on the floor.
According to a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, both Al Homoud and his wife are out on $100,000 bonds pending trial. No trial date has been scheduled.
Each charge calls for up to 20 years in federal prison and/or a maximum fine of $250,000 upon conviction.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2