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Saudi Arabia Human Trafficking Suspicions: Virginia Diplomatic Compound Under Investigation

05/01/2013 07:20 pm 19:20:26 | Updated Jul 01, 2013
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A Saudi Arabian diplomatic compound in Virginia is under investigation after law enforcement officials came into contact with possible "victims of human trafficking" there, the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed to NBC Washington and BuzzFeed.

According to NBC Washington's Jackie Bensen, who broke the story on Wednesday, DHS officials and local police were called to the McLean, Va., compound early Wednesday morning and "in the words of a source familiar with the investigation, 'rescued' two women." The report also says that "one woman reportedly tried to flee by squeezing through a gap in the front gate as it was closing." Real estate records obtained by NBC show that the residence belongs to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has been the subject of intense scrutiny from the human rights community over the years. The country "is a destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of involuntary servitude and, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation," according to a 2008 State Department report on human trafficking.

The McLean investigation is in its "early stages," per NBC. A DHS official told BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray that "other agencies" are involved, although it remains unclear which agencies those are.

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