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Saudi Official Allegedly Brought Slave To London, Foreign Office Diplomatic Immunity Figures Reveal

A Mexican embassy official was accused of sexual offences involving children.

21/07/2016 15:53

A Saudi official has been accused of bringing a slave to London, as a string of crimes committed by people with diplomatic immunity are released in new Foreign Office documents.

According to the Foreign Office, 11 “serious and significant” offences were allegedly committed by people immune from prosecution as diplomats in the UK last year.

Among the alleged offences were sexual offences involving children and causing actual bodily harm.

Diplomatic immunity, which diplomatic staff and some employees working at embassies are entitled to, allows officials to be exempt from being tried for their crimes.

The figures, contained in a written statement, show that a member of the Saudi Arabian embassy is alleged to have committed the offence of human trafficking into the UK for the purposes of exploitation, specifically domestic servitude.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson revealed in a written statement the 11 'serious and significant' alleged offences committed by those with diplomatic immunity.

A member of the Saudi embassy is also said to have committed the offence of human trafficking for slavery or servitude or forced or compulsory labour.

Someone at the Mexican embassy allegedly caused a child aged 13 to 15 to watch or look at an image of sexual activity.

Someone at the same embassy is accused of taking an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child and using threatening or abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment or alarm or distress.

The figures also revealed that someone at the Gabon embassy was accused of actual bodily harm, while staff at the embassies of the US, China and Kazakhstan have all been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Someone at the Nigeria embassy is said to have driven a vehicle without insurance or an MOT, while a person at the Commonwealth Secretariat is said to have driven without insurance and someone at the St Lucia embassy allegedly caused or permitted the driving of a vehicle without insurance.

In a written statement, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: “In 2015, 11 serious and significant offences allegedly committed by people entitled to diplomatic immunity in the United Kingdom were drawn to the attention of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection of the Metropolitan Police, or other law enforcement agencies.

“Six of these were driving-related. We define serious offences as those which could, in certain circumstances, carry a penalty of 12 months’ imprisonment or more. Also included are drink-driving and driving without insurance.

“Around 22,500 people are entitled to diplomatic immunity in the United Kingdom and the majority of diplomats abide by UK law. The number of alleged serious crimes committed by members of the diplomatic community in the UK is proportionately low.”

He continued: “Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961, those entitled to immunity are expected to obey the law. The FCO does not tolerate foreign diplomats breaking the law.

“We take all allegations of illegal activity seriously. When instances of alleged criminal conduct are brought to our attention by the police, we ask the relevant foreign government to waive diplomatic immunity where appropriate.

“For the most serious offences, and when a relevant waiver has not been granted, we seek the immediate withdrawal of the diplomat.”

It has also been revealed that diplomatic missions and international organisations racked up nearly £500,000 in unpaid parking fines in London last year.

Some 4,858 parking fines were incurred in the capital totalling £477,499, the Foreign Office said.

Following a series of meetings with missions, subsequent payments and waived fines knocked £161,328 off the bill, leaving £316,171 in unpaid fines.

And it has emerged that diplomatic missions owe Londoners more than £95 million in unpaid Congestion Charge fees since the charge was introduced in February 2003.

Transport for London is owed a massive £95,811,650, with Americans alone owing £10,626,970 racked up from 89,308 unpaid fines.

In total, some 76 embassies owe more than £100,000 in unpaid congestion charge fines, with the figures taken until December 31 2015.

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