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U.S. millionaire couple accused of keeping two Indonesian women as slaves

A millionaire couple accused of keeping two Indonesian women as slaves in their luxurious New York home for years have been indicted on federal slavery charges.

Varsha Mahender Sabhnani, 35, and her husband, Mahender Murlidhar Sabhnani, 51, who operate a worldwide perfume business out of their home in Long Island, New York, with factories in Singapore and Bahrain, were arrested last week after one of their servants was found wandering outside a doughnut shop.

The indictment, handed up Tuesday night, also charges the couple with harboring illegal residents.

They had entered not guilty pleas last week during their initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, New York. A magistrate judge later set bail at $3.5 million (EUR2.59 million) and imposed home detention with electronic monitoring.

Friends and relatives indicated the couple would be willing to post bail, but as of Wednesday morning, the pair remained in custody.

Their arraignment on the grand jury indictment has not been scheduled, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said Wednesday.

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