UK’s richest family, Hinduja, on TRIAL for human trafficking in Switzerland

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Four members of the Hinduja family are facing charges in Switzerland related to the treatment of their domestic staff. 

DETAILS OF THE CHARGES

The allegations include exploitation and human trafficking, with claims that servants from India were paid low wages, worked long hours, and had their passports confiscated. 

The trial has brought to light the stark contrast between the family’s alleged spending on their dog and the daily wages of their servants, with allegations claiming they spent more money caring for their dog than their servants.

The billionaire Indian family in the UK own a villa in Geneva’s wealthy neighbourhood of Cologny, and the charges against them all relate to their practice of importing servants from India to look after their children and household. 

A CASE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

It’s alleged that Prakash and Kamal Hinduja, together with their son Ajay and his wife Namrata, confiscated staff passports, paid them as little as $8 (£7) for 18-hour days, and allowed them little freedom to leave the house.

Although a financial settlement over exploitation was reached last week, the Hindujas remain on trial for trafficking, which is a serious criminal offence in Switzerland. 

COURT HEARD

This week in court, one of Geneva’s most famous prosecutors, Yves Bertossa, compared the almost $10,000 a year he claimed the family had spent on their dog, to the daily amount they were allegedly paying their servants. 

The Hinduja family’s lawyers did not specifically deny the allegations of low wages, but said they must be viewed in context – noting that the staff were also receiving accommodation and food. 

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The charge of long hours was also disputed, with one defence lawyer arguing that watching a film with the Hinduja children could not really be classed as work. 

Meanwhile, some former servants testified for the Hindujas, describing them as a friendly family who treated their servants with dignity.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN?

But the allegations that servants’ passports were confiscated and that they could not even leave the house without permission, are serious because they could be judged as human trafficking. 

Mr Bertossa is calling for prison terms, and millions of dollars in compensation as well as legal fees.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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