BOSTON (AP) – An Indian woman who claimed she was held captive by a Brookline couple who brought her to the United States as a nanny will return to Bombay under a settlement with the couple.

Notice of the settlement between Naseem Mohamed Siraj and her employers, Tahira Juma and Saleem Alkhaburi, was filed in U.S. District Court last month, and the deal was finalized Monday, said Siraj’s attorney, Rick Mann.

Man said human trafficking, the likes of which Siraj alleged in her lawsuit, is both a global and a local problem.

“This is not a relic of the past, unfortunately,” he said. “Forms of pernicious human slavery occur right here in our own backyard, so we all need to be vigilant.”

Mann declined to disclose the settlement amount, but described it as a “modest” compensation.

The original complaint sought at least $400,000 in punitive damages and back pay, plus lawyer’s costs and other fees.

According to Siraj’s lawsuit, the Brookline couple held her passport and forced her to work for six months straight for less than $3 per day before she got a single day off.

She had been on the couple’s staff previously in their native Oman before they came to the U.S. She was beaten by the children – in one case with a bat – and endured constant abuse, according to the suit.

A neighbor noted Siraj’s plight and brought her case to the attention of a human rights group and social workers, Mann said. She eventually fled to a battered women’s shelter.

The couple’s attorney, Lisa Smyth, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

AP-ES-06-09-04 1727EDT



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