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Buford woman, 41, facing human trafficking charges

ATLANTA — A Buford woman was arraigned Monday before a U.S. Magistrate Court, facing charges that she forced a pair of young women into what an attorney called “modern day slavery.”

According to indictments and court documents, 41-year-old Bidemi Bello brought a woman from Nigeria to Georgia and forced her to work in her home from October 2001 to March 2004, making her care for her daughter and perform household chores without pay. The victim later escaped.

Bello reportedly brought a second woman from Nigeria, forcing her to work for her from November 2004 to April 2006.

According to the indictment, Bello “threatened, physically abused and isolated both victims from their families in order to force them to work for her without pay.” She reportedly took each victim’s passport and government identification documents in order to maintain their services, a practice known as “document servitude.”

“Forcing young women to work without compensation for their services is modern day slavery,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement. “The laws of the United States protect all victims from such abuse, regardless of where they came from or how they came to be in the United States.”

Bello, a Nigerian citizen and Buford resident, faces seven federal charges: four counts of labor trafficking, two counts of document servitude and one count of alien harboring.