Indians held for practising slavery

Updated on May 16, 2007 04:17 PM IST
An Indian couple living in New York is arrested on charges of keeping two Indonesians as slaves and torturing them.
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PTI | ByDharam Shourie, New York

A multimillionaire Indian couple living in a posh locality in New York was arrested on the charges of keeping two Indonesian women as slaves and torturing at least one of them.

Mahender Sabhani and his wife, Varsha, who are in the perfume business, were booked in a Federal Court on the charges of using threats of physical harm to obtain services.

"No one would ever think that human beings were being brought into the United States and held for slave labour, and beaten, and tortured in a beautiful mansion right in New York in one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods on Long Island," said federal prosecutor Demetri Jones, who is prosecuting the case along with Assistant US Attorney Mark Lesko.

If convicted, each faces a prison term of 17 to 22 years.

It is alleged that Varsha forced the two to work from 4 in the morning to midnight and at least one victim told the prosecutors that she was beaten, tortured, denied food and forced to sleep in the kitchen.

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