Home News Swiss court to rule on human trafficking case involving Britain’s richest family

Swiss court to rule on human trafficking case involving Britain’s richest family


A Swiss court is expected to rule on Friday on whether members of Britain’s richest family, accused of exploiting domestic workers at a luxury villa in Geneva, are guilty of human trafficking.

Prosecutors charged four members of the Hinduja family — Prakash Hinduja, Kamal Hinduja, Ajay Hinduja and Namrata Hinduja — and accused them of trafficking several workers from India, confiscating their passports and forcing them to work 16-hour days at the villa without overtime pay. Lawyers for the Hinduja family denied the charges.

The Hinduja family runs a multinational conglomerate with large assets in auto manufacturing, banking, oil and gas, real estate and healthcare. The Sunday Times London recently estimated the family’s net worth at £37 billion, or $47 billion, and listed it as the The richest family.

Opening arguments in the closely watched trial began on June 10, with lead prosecutor Yves Bertossa claiming the family’s budget for the pets was more than a domestic worker’s salary, according to reports. Swiss media coverage.

According to the initial indictment, some domestic workers were paid as little as 10,000 rupees a month (about $120 today). The indictment said the workers, many from poor families in India, toiled “from dawn to late night” without overtime pay. Their wages were well below the minimum wage for domestic workers in Geneva and were deposited into Indian bank accounts that they could not easily access, the indictment said.

Prosecutors said the Hindujas confiscated servants’ passports and told them not to leave the villa, where they slept on bunk beds in a windowless basement. The workers were required to be on call at all times, including to France and Monaco, where they toiled under the same conditions, the indictment said.

Romain Jordan, a lawyer representing the Hinduja family, refuted what he called “exaggerated and prejudicial allegations.”

“The Hinduja family members vehemently deny the allegations and are determined to defend themselves,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

The civil case involving the lead plaintiffs, all of whom were employees of the family, was reportedly settled last week. Swiss media reportsMr. Jordan declined to discuss the terms but said the agreement was “confidential” and that the plaintiff had withdrawn his complaint.

A judge is expected to rule on the criminal case on Friday, with prosecutors seeking a sentence of up to five and a half years in prison, as well as millions of francs in fines and damages. According to Swiss media reports.

The three brothers run the family business group, two of whom have offices in the UK and across Europe. The family owns a large number of real estate in London, including a 25-bedroom house and Five-star Raffles Hotel Located in the Old War Office, a historic former government building.

The eldest of the brothers is Srichand P. Hinduja, who is also the co-chairman of the Hinduja Group. Died last May He was 87. Before his death, the family factions participated in a protracted war Control over family assets.

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