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Sept 24, 2013

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Kuwait Ambassador to the UN Charged With Forced Labor and Visa Fraud But Still at Large

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 11 – Diplomats working at the United Nations in New York have repeatedly been found involved in force labor, and in one recent case of an Ambassador of South Sudan to the UN, rape. Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric for UNSG Antonio Guterres' comments about the diplomat, without answer; he has been allowed to flee the country.  

On October 11, BARRAK ABDULMOHSEN ALHUNAIF, a former diplomatic attaché assigned to the Permanent Mission of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations, and his wife KHALEDAH SAAD ALDHUBAIBI were charged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York with forced labor, visa fraud, fraud in foreign labor contracting, and conspiracy to commit visa fraud and fraud in foreign labor contracting, in connection with their hiring and subsequent abuse of three domestic workers from India and the Philippines.  Both ALHUNAIF and ALDHUBAIBI remain at large.    

  According to the allegations in the Indictment filed today in SDNY, ALHUNAIF and ALDHUBAIBI obtained the visas through the submission of fraudulent employment contracts, which, among other things, vastly overstated the domestic workers’ salaries, understated their hours, and falsely guaranteed other benefits, such as paid holidays and private living accommodations.

  Once the domestic workers arrived in the United States, ALHUNAIF and ALDHUBAIBI paid the domestic workers far less than what was specified in their contracts and what was the minimum salary required by law.  In order to conceal this scheme, ALHUNAIF provided payments to the domestic workers for the amounts set forth in their employment contracts but required the domestic workers to withdraw a portion of their paycheck in cash and to return the cash to either ALHUNAIF or ALDHUBAIBI. 

As a result, ALHUNAIF and ALDHUBAIBI paid at least two of the domestic workers as little as $700 per month.  ALHUNAIF and ALDHUBAIBI also regularly compelled each of the domestic workers to work far in excess of 40 hours per week and without a regular day off.                

Further, ALHUNAIF and ALDHUBAIBI subjected the domestic workers to other abusive conditions, including requiring two of them to surrender their passports upon arrival in the United States, restricting their ability to leave their employment, and controlling the domestic workers’ movements by prohibiting them from leaving their residence without their express permission. ALHUNAIF and ALDHUBAIBI also denied two of the domestic workers timely medical care for medical conditions caused by or contracted during their employment.    

   ALDHUBAIBI verbally abused each of the domestic workers and physically abused one of the workers.  ALHUNAIF and ALDHUBAIBI also threatened at least one domestic worker on several occasions.  These threats included, among other things, that ALHUNAIF and ALDHUBAIBI would falsely report the domestic worker to law enforcement for stealing from them or mistreating their children.    And yet the UN congratulates itself for protection children. Inner City Press will have more on this.


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