(Photo: NBC4 Washington)
A little under a week ago it was reported that two potential trafficking victims were rescued from a Saudi diplomatic compound in an upscale area of McLean, Virginia.
NBC Washington has background:
U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations were called to a home in the 6000 block of Orris Street in McLean 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.
"In this particular case, what we ended up doing is setting up an arranged time to meet some people. They met us at that time and we took them out of that situation," Torres said.
It's not clear if the women, whom sources say are from the Philippines, called investigators to the home themselves or if someone else did.
The women are now in protective custody. [Emphasis added]
Now, officials on both sides of the issue are remaining tight-lipped.
"We've talked with the two women and continue to talk with them, and I actually believe they were interviewed today at the SAC's office," Brandon Montgomery, a spokesman for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, reportedly said. "They're working with a non-governmental organization which provides them assistance, as do we."
He didn't give the name of the NGO assisting them, or reveal the details of what they said.
No word yet from Saudi Arabia, either.
A Saudi embassy representative told Buzzfeed: "We have nothing on that."
But if a Saudi diplomat is involved, he will likely have immunity. "There's always an immunity with diplomats," the representative added.
According to reports, Saudi Arabia has a history of bringing in foreign workers as "household help" and enslaving them.
“The U.S. State Department is aware of this matter,” spokesperson Patrick Ventrell commented. “Diplomatic security is aware of the matter, and we’re working with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, specifically Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
NBC Washington has more on the story:
- Evidence of Possible Human Trafficking Reportedly Found…at Saudi Diplomatic Compound
- ‘Armed and Dangerous’: Beck’s Latest Revelations on Saudi National Once a ‘Person of Interest’ in Boston Bombings
- More to Saudi Arabia’s Connection to Boston Bombings Than Meets the Eye