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May 16,2007
N.Y. couple arrested on slavery charges
by UPI

NEW YORK - U.S. authorities arrested a New York couple on charges that they forced two Indonesian women to act as their slaves during the last five years.

New York's Newsday reported Tuesday that perfume business owners Varsha Mahender Sabhnani and Mahender Murlidhar Sabhanni have been accused of using the women as slaves and using torture to punish one woman's behavior.

The multimillionaire couple is accused of "the labor and services of another person by use of threats of serious physical harm to and physical restraint against that person."

U.S. District Court documents show that the couple is accused of cutting one of the women with a knife and beating her with a stick after she failed to meet their work standards.

The documents add that the women were never allowed to leave the couple's home in the village of Muttontown, N.Y.

The alleged incident of slavery came to light after one of the women escaped and both federal and local authorities investigated her allegations, the newspaper said.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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