An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Millionaire Indian Couple arrested for keeping slaves!

What is wrong with people? Why does one have such a mean streak in him/her? These idiots were millionaires.. so why would they treat someone so bad? I can understand that they would not want to pay someone enough.. because they are so blinded by money.. but denying food? And beating people? That just doesnt make sense!! But oh well!!

Btw, look at her bloody face!! If the guilt wasn’t proved by those filipinos, I will give her sentence (if I were the jury) just for looking so bitchy!! She looks soooo mean… ready to enslave anyone.. most probably, she must be thinking how to beat those filipinos up for venturing out and telling the world.. her expression says it all!! 🙂

Varsha Mahender Sabhnani of Long Island, N.Y., is led out of Nassau County police headquarters in Mineola, N.Y., after her arrest on forced labor charges Tuesday, May 15, 2007. Sabhnani, 35, and her husband, Mahender Murlidhar Sabhnani, 51, who operate a worldwide perfume business, are accused of keeping two Indonesian women as slaves in their luxurious Long Island home and abusing them for years. An indictment handed up Tuesday, May 22, 2007, formally charged with them with two counts of forced labor and added two counts of harboring illegal residents. (AP Photo/Howard Schnapp)

An NRI millionaire couple accused of keeping two Indonesian women as slaves in their luxurious New York home for years — viciously inflicting abuse for perceived offenses — have been indicted on federal slavery charges.

Varsha Mahender Sabhnani, 35, and her husband, Mahender Murlidhar Sabhnani, 51, who operate a worldwide perfume business out of their home in Long Island, New York, were arrested last week after one of their servants was found wandering outside a doughnut shop. The indictment, handed up on Tuesday night, charges the couple with two counts of forced labour and two counts of harbouring illegal residents. The Sabhnanis will be arraigned on the indictment on Thursday.

The defendants, who are naturalised US citizens from India, had their passports confiscated when they were arrested. A magistrate judge in US District Court in Central Islip set bail last week at $3.5 million. Friends and relatives of the couple indicated they would be willing to post bail on their behalf, but as of Wednesday morning, the pair remained in custody. Authorities uncovered the abuse after one of the women was found by police wandering in Syosset, New York, on May 13, wearing only pants and a towel. The woman is believed to have escaped the Sabhnani home when she brought the trash out the night before. Assistant US Attorney Demitri Jones has called the allegations “truly a case of modern-day slavery”.

The women, prosecutors said, were subjected to beatings, had scalding water thrown on them and were forced to repeatedly climb up stairs and take as many as 30 showers in three hours — all as punishment for perceived misdeeds. In one case, prosecutors said, one of the women was forced to eat 25 hot chilli peppers at one time. One of the women also told authorities she was cut behind her ears with a pocket knife and both were forced to sleep on mats in the kitchen. They were fed so little, they claimed, that they were forced to steal food and hide it from their captors. Attorneys for the couple said they intend to fight the allegations. Charles A. Ross, who represents Varsha Sabhnani, said the couple travelled extensively and that the two Indonesian women were free to leave whenever they wished.

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