Saudi Diplomats Trafficking Women?

Katie Pavlich

5/2/2013 7:27:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Are diplomats at an official Saudi government compound in the United States engaged in human trafficking? Looks like it.

A case of "possible human trafficking" at a Saudi diplomatic compound in Virginia is under investigation, Homeland Security confirmed to News4.

Agents from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations and Fairfax County police were called to a home in the 6000 block of Orris Street in McLean overnight and, in the words of a source familiar with the investigation, "rescued" two women. One woman reportedly tried to flee by squeezing through a gap in the front gate as it was closing.

It's not clear if the women, who sources say are from the Philippines, called investigators to the home themselves or if someone else did.

"Homeland Security Investigations DC did encounter two potential victims of trafficking and the investigation is ongoing," a D.C.-based spokesman for ICE/Homeland Security investigations told News4.

If the women are from the Philippines, there is a high chance they are being trafficking for sex. Saudi Arabia has a history of using the sex trade in the Philippines. From a 2009 State Department report:

The Philippines is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. A significant number of Filipino men and women who migrate abroad for work are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude in Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Palau, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Muslim Filipina girls from Mindanao were trafficked to the Middle East by other Muslims.

This story will most likely be treated as a local crime issue when in fact, it's a major international problem. The incident above didn't happen in the Philippines or in the Middle East, it happened in one of the most affluent parts of the United States. Not to mention, these women allegedly escaped from an official Saudi government compound.