News: New Charges Brought Against Thai Woman

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Melanie Orhant (
Mon, 2 Nov 1998 10:44:15 -0500

New Charges Brought Against Thai Woman Accused of Keeping Slaves
Los Angeles Times, October 28, 1998

Involuntary servitude charges were filed Tuesday against a Woodland Hills
woman accused of holding four illegal immigrants from Thailand against
their will. Supawan Veerapol, 52, was indicted earlier this year on charges
of harboring illegal aliens but the new indictment added the more serious
charges of involuntary servitude.

Supawan, a Thai national who has real estate investments and has operated
restaurants in the Los Angeles area for many years, was arrested in March.

She was accused of bringing illegal immigrants from Thailand to work long
hours at her home and in her restaurants and barring them from contact with
the outside world.

Two women who fled her home told authorities that Supawan confiscated their
passports, censored their mail, prevented them from attending religious
services and threatened them and their families with harm if they left.

Supawan, who is free on $500,000 bail, has denied the allegations. She
insists she befriended the women.

The new indictment charges her with four counts of involuntary servitude
and four counts of harboring an illegal alien. If convicted of all counts,
she could be sentenced to a maximum of 60 years in prison.

Melanie Orhant

Human Trafficking Program
Global Survival Network

P.O. Box 73214
Washington, DC 20009
T: 387-0028
F: 387-2590

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