A Bangladeshi diplomat has been indicted for allegedly forcing a servant to work for his family in New York City without pay and assaulting him though Bangladesh consulate senses other motive.
Prosecutors say Md Shahedul Islam, 45, Deputy Consul General of Bangladesh, was accused on Monday on grand larceny, assault, labour trafficking and other charges, reports the Associated Press (AP).
An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, defendant faces up to 15 years in prison in such case if convicted, according to a court copy obtained by UNB.
However, Consul General at Consulate General of Bangladesh Shameem Ahsan said domestic aide Ruhul Amin went missing on May 17, 2016 and the Consulate General formally reported it to the US authorities on May 18 the same year.
“It’s quite surprising that he has come up with so many allegations against his employer after about 13 months which suggests that he might have other motives in mind,” Shameem told UNB on Tuesday.
He said he himself was present in the Court with his colleagues for hours yesterday and the judge left the Court shortly after the order (Bail subject to payment of cash US$25,000 or bond for US$50,000) and his (judge) presence was a requirement to obtain his release on the same day.
Besides, Shameem said, finding two solvent guarantors (with salary statements showing legal income) in addition to generating required cash and processing (bond) papers needed some time despite sincere efforts on the part of the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC, Consulate General and relatives of the Officer.
“Bond paper is expected to be submitted today (Tuesday),” he added.
Quoting prosecutors, the AP said Shahedul brought the Bangladeshi domestic aide Amin, to New York in between 2012 and 2013 to work as household help, but ‘took away his passport’.
Prosecutors also said Amin ‘was not paid for his work, and threatened and beaten, sometimes with a wooden shoe. He escaped in 2016′.
Islam is due back in court June 28, the AP report says.
Bangladesh has conveyed its displeasure to the United States over the detention of its diplomat following the allegation raised by his domestic aid.
Bangladesh has also sought an explanation from the US side regarding the matter.
Acting Foreign Secretary Mahbub-Uz-Zaman conveyed Bangladesh’s displeasure to acting US Ambassador in Dhaka Joel Reifman on Tuesday, said a Foreign Ministry source.
Deputy Consul General in New York Md Shahedul Islam, now in Queens Criminal Court, is scheduled to be released tonight.
Mr. Shahedul Islam, Deputy Consul General at the Consulate General of Bangladesh in New York has been released at 8:20pm from Vermon C Bain Correctional Center, Bronx, New York, acording to a message received in Dhaka early Wednesday.