Irvine Police Department, Public Information Office
PRESS RELEASE, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: #7/10/2013
IRVINE, CA (July 10, 2013): Last night, Irvine Police Detectives, working closely with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, arrested a Saudi Arabian national, Meshael Alayban (2-7-1971) for holding a domestic servant against her will. Alayban was arrested at her condominium on Gramercy in Irvine.
On July 9, 2013, the victim, a 30-year-old woman from Kenya, left the residence and flagged down a passing bus. She was carrying a suitcase and a Department of State pamphlet, given to her at the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia where she was issued a travel visa. The pamphlet described her rights and warned of human trafficking. After getting on the bus, an Irvine woman saw she was in distress and helped her contact the Irvine Police Department.
In March 2012, the victim contracted through an agency in Kenya to work for Alayban’s family in Saudi Arabia. However, once she arrived, her passports and contract were taken from her by Alayban. The victim was required to work excessive hours and paid only a fraction of the agreed upon salary. When the victim complained about the working conditions and asked for her passport back so she could leave, Alayban refused to give it to her.
In May 2013, the family traveled to the United States. The victim and four other women from the Philippines under similar contracts all traveled with them. While Irvine Detectives and HSI Special Agents executed a search warrant at the location, the four women were contacted. Their travel documents had also been taken by Alayban. Detectives are working to recover the documents, believed to be in a safe deposit box at a local bank. The women left with detectives voluntarily and an investigation into each of their circumstances is ongoing. All five women are in good health. At this time, there are no indications of physical abuse. Authorities are assisting them with shelter.
Alayban is currently being held in the Orange County Jail in lieu of 1 million dollars bail. The case is currently Orange County District Attorney’s Office; additional information is expected to become available later this afternoon.
Contact : Julia Engen, Lieutenant 949-724-7112
IRVINE POLICE DEPARTMENT
One Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 724-7000 www.irvinepd.org
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The City of Irvine has a population of more than 212,000, spans 65 square miles and is recognized as one of America’s safest and most successful master-planned urban communities. Top-rated educational institutions, an enterprising business atmosphere, sound environmental stewardship, and respect for diversity all contribute to Irvine’s enviable quality of life. This family-friendly city features more than 16,000 acres of parks, sports fields and dedicated open space and is the home of the Orange County Great Park – the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century. For more information, please visit www.cityofirvine.org.