Bangladesh’s deputy consul general in New York appeared in court Monday, charged with labor trafficking and assault for allegedly forcing a household helper to work 18 hours a day without pay for four years.
Mohammed Shaheldul Islam has limited diplomatic immunity and was ordered to surrender his passport when he appeared before Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown
Bail was set at $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Islam is accused of forcing a Bangladeshi employee to work in his Queens family home without pay from 2012 until his escape in May 2016.
He used to control the employee, threatening to kill his mother and young son, and shaming his daughter, if he left, and confiscated his passport, District Attorney Richard Brown said.
If the victim disobeyed orders, he was allegedly hit by the defendant’s hand or a wooden shoe, Brown added.
The victim’s only sources of income were tips from party guests and a minuscule amount of money that the defendant sent to Islam’s family in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh consulate general could not be immediately reached for comment.
In December 2013, India’s deputy consul general, Devyani Khobragade, was arrested for mistreating her servant.
She denied the charge and subsequently returned to India, but was later stripped of her foreign ministry post for making unauthorized statements to the media.