Charges filed against former Saudi ambassador

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Former Saudi ambassador to the Netherlands Waleed Elkereidhi is accused of people trafficking. A 45-year-old Filipino living in the Netherlands has filed a report with the police.

The man worked as a cook at the ambassador’s official residence in Wassenaar in 2008. He says he was exploited by the Saudi diplomat. Mr Elkereidhi allegedly took his passport and forced his cook to work for a mere pittance. The cook was told not to leave the house. The Filipino managed to escape after five months, and has since been living illegally in the Netherlands. Mr Elkereidhi was the Saudi ambassador to the Netherlands from 2002 until 2009. He has since returned to Saudi Arabia and could not be reached for comment.

Earlier, both the newspaper Trouw and Radio Netherlands Worldwide published reports on the case of a Filipino woman and her two children who worked for Waleed Elkereidhi under appalling circumstances for a number of years. They also eventually fled the residence. The family is now considering filing charges for people trafficking as well.

The foreign ministry says it does not expect the issue will harm diplomatic ties between the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia. A spokesperson said it was a civil case, involving “a diplomat acting as a private person, not as a representative of his country.”

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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