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Qatar Military Official, Wife Face Forced Labor Charge

SAN ANTONIO  — A Qatar military official training at a U.S. military base in South Texas is facing federal charges after authorities say two of his foreign national employees were given little food and made to sleep on a pallet in a barren apartment.

Federal prosecutors say Hassan Salem H. M. Al Homoud and his wife, Zainab Al Hosani, of the United Arab Emirates, have been charged with engaging in forced labor. A criminal complaint Monday alleges the couple withheld wages of the two employees and threatened them with arrest. The couple could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Prosecutors say one employee is from Indonesia and the other from Bangladesh on visas sponsored by Al Homoud, who is attending military training in San Antonio.

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