New York City, NY (The New York Post) – A Bangladeshi diplomat living in Queens forced his immigrant housekeeper to work 18 hours a day — for no pay — and beat him with a wooden shoe if he disobeyed, authorities said Tuesday.
“The defendant allegedly seized the victim’s passport and, from the first day on the job, refused to pay wages due the employee and, furthermore, used threats of harm to his family residing overseas to prevent him from leaving his employ,” Queens DA Richard Brown said in a statement.
Suspect MD Shahedul Islam, deputy consul general for the consulate of Bangladesh, was nabbed at his Jamaica Estates home around noon Monday by the NYPD’s Vice squad, officials said.
He was later charged in a 33-count indictment.
Islam brought the 43-year-old Bangladeshi victim to his home between 2012 and 2013, according to Brown.
“Islam … required the man to work 18 hours a day in the family’s home,” Brown said.
“Even though the victim had a contract which outlined his compensation, it is alleged he was never paid for his work. If the victim disobeyed the defendant’s orders, the victim was allegedly physically assaulted by the defendant, who either struck him with his hand or sometimes with a wooden shoe.”
Islam was arraigned and held on $25,000 bail or $50,000 bond.
Cops took Islam’s passport away, but it wasn’t clear if he could simply claim diplomatic immunity and skirt the charges.
The indictment also alleges that Islam stole the victim’s money by withholding more than $50,000 in wages and demanded that the man perform labor to fulfill a “debt.”
Brown said Islam also threatened to kill the man’s mother and young son. He also threatened to have his college-age daughter shamed.
The victim managed to escape from the residence and reported his experience to the police in May 2016.
A spokesman for the Bangladesh embassy in Washington told Reuters that the allegations were “fabricated” and “baseless.”
A person who answered the phone at the embassy in Washington, DC, wouldn’t comment to The Post other than to say bail had been issued but that it would take time for Islam to be released.