US federal authorities are probing a potential case of human trafficking against a Saudi diplomat following allegations made by two Philippine women working at his home in a Washington suburb.
The two women,officials said,have alleged that they were being mistreated and their passport was kept by the Saudi official. The case is being investigated by the Homeland Security
Investigations of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Without going into details of this case,State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the US honours treaty obligations with regard to issues of diplomatic or consular immunity.
“The Department confirms for law enforcement authorities if a foreign mission member is accredited to the US and any immunity from jurisdiction or arrest that an individual may enjoy as a result of his or her official status,” he said. “But under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,diplomats are under a duty to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state. And so that’s something that holds true for diplomats here and that we hold true for our people when they’re posted overseas,” Ventrell said.
Local media reports said that the two Philippine women were rescued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a raid on the Saudi diplomat’s residence. The identity of the two women has not been released.