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When the family made the trip to Irvine in May, the Kenyan woman briefly got her passport back. But she was always accompanied by a family member, authorities said, and in Irvine, the princess again took the woman’s passport.
"I understand it looks like this princess was operating entirely above the law," said Vlieger, the professor, "but she’s not used to such laws being in place."
The Kenyan woman continued her work in the four condo units, authorities said, where the prince and princess, their three young children and four other servants from the Philippines also live. The servants’ passports had been locked in a bank safe deposit box, said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, who recently announced that he was forming a special unit to deal with human trafficking.
It’s unclear why the Kenyan woman chose Tuesday morning to slip away.
"She is a smart woman," said Steve Baric, her attorney. "I think she saw her opportunity to go to freedom and she took it."
Once the woman boarded the bus, a fellow passenger noticed that she was upset, Irvine Police Lt. Julia Engen said. After the Kenyan woman, who speaks English, shared her story, the passenger brought the woman to her workplace to call police.
Later that day, authorities searched the princess’ condo units and found the other servants. "The detective spoke to them and said, ‘Do you want to leave with us?’ "Engen said. "And they said, yes."
Alayban was arrested early Wednesday.
In court Thursday, she was in blue prison garb and had pulled her hair into a low ponytail. Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett approved a protective order that would bar her from contacting the Kenyan woman or people close to her. Alayban also surrendered her passports. On Thursday afternoon, she posted $5 million bail and was freed.
An Arabic translator was on hand to explain the proceedings to Alayban, who spoke only to respond to questions from the judge.
"Yes, Your Honor," the princess repeatedly said
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