Bangladeshi diplomat in New York charged with labor trafficking and assault

Bangladesh’s deputy consul general in New York was indicted on charges of labor trafficking and assault for forcing his servant to work without pay through threats and intimidation, a New York City prosecutor said.
Mohammed Shaheldul Islam has limited diplomatic immunity and was ordered to surrender his passport when he appeared before Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown in a statement.
Bail was set at $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. According to the indictment, Islam brought another Bangladeshi, Mohammed Amin, to New York between 2012 and 2013 to work as a household help for Islam and his family.
“Soon after Mr. Amin’s arrival, the defendant allegedly took his passport and required the man to work 18 hours a day … Even though Mr. Amin had a contract which outlines his compensation, it is alleged he was never paid for his work,” the statement said.
“If the victim disobeyed the defendant’s orders, Mr. Amin was allegedly physically assaulted by the defendant, who either struck him with his hand or sometimes with a wooden shoe,” it said. A spokesman for the Bangladesh embassy in Washington said it believed Amin had filed the case in bad faith and the allegations were “fabricated” and “baseless”.
Shahedul, 45, brought another Bangladeshi, Mohammed Amin, to the United States between 2012 and 2013 to work for his family in Queens as a household helper, an arrangement common among South Asian diplomats. “If the victim disobeyed the defendant’s orders, Mr Amin was allegedly physically assaulted by the defendant, who either struck him with his hand or sometimes with a wooden shoe,” it said.
Shahedul has limited diplomatic immunity and was ordered to surrender his passport when he appeared before Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis, Brown said in a statement. The Queens grand jury hit Shahedul with a 33-count indictment last week that includes labor trafficking, assault and other charges. He was arraigned later Monday. His next court date is June 28.

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