In October of last year, Soripada Lubis was taken into custody for forcing almost two dozen women into slavery.
The story is familiar: he promised them a way to stay in the country after their visas had expired or lured them away from legal employers with financial rewards, confiscated their passports and threatened kill their families in Indonesia and alert immigration officials if the women tried to run. He put them to work as live-in housekeepers at other homes in the area. Given the weekends off, Lubis charged them between $300 and $350 monthly, to live in his one-story home, where they often had to share beds.
It been reported that the scheme has been going on since at least 2000 and that during the last five years, Lubis has made more than $90,000.
Authorities learned of Lubis in 2006, when a relative of a woman living in his basement contacted U.S. diplomats in Jakarta, Indonesia, seeking help. Over the next two years, authorities met with four women who said they had lived with Lubis at various times starting in 2001.
Soripada Lubis was charged with conspiracy to harbor illegal immigrants and released on bail, with the order to stay at his residence.
On February 25, Lubis plead guilty today to harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage and private financial gain. His wife, Siti Chadidjah Siregar, a citizen of Indonesia, pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal agents who were investigating the scheme.
Lubis faces up to 10 years in prison as well as an order to pay restitution. Siregar faces up to five years in prison at sentencing.