Members of the richest family in the UK were found guilty on friday by a swiss court of abusing domestic helpers at a lavish Geneva property. The family members accused of trafficking their slaves for human purposes, however, were cleared by the court, according to The New York Times.
 
Prakash and Kamal Hinduja received sentences of four years and six months in jail from the court on friday, while ajay and namrata Hinduja received sentences of four years. Additionally, it ordered them to pay USD 300,000 in procedural fees and about USD 950,000 in compensation.


Four members of the UK family—Prakash Hinduja, his wife Kamal Hinduja, their son ajay Hinduja, and their daughter-in-law namrata Hinduja—were accused by prosecutors of engaging in human trafficking and abusing many indian laborers.
 
The workers' passports were allegedly confiscated by the family members, and they were made to labor at the villa for at least sixteen hours a day without receiving overtime compensation. The Hindujas' attorneys have denied the accusations.
 

The family's business advisor, Najib Ziazi, who was also charged, was discovered to have participated in the exploitation. According to The New York Times story, Romain Jordan, the family's attorney, issued an email expressing his clients' "disappointment" with the ruling and announcing that they had appealed to a higher court.
 
"The family has full faith in the judicial process and remains determined to defend themselves," the statement continues. Large interests in banking, oil and gas, real estate, automobile manufacturing, and health care are all under the Hinduja family's leadership.
 

The trial's arguments began on june 10 when The New York Times, citing claims from swiss news outlets, stated that the family had allocated more money for a pet than for the wage of a single domestic helper. This was the main prosecutor, Yves Bertossa, making this accusation.
 

The indictment states that some domestic workers received as little as 10,000 rupees per month (about USD 120) for caring for children or household chores. It claimed that many of the laborers were from impoverished indian families and that they had worked "from dawn until late in the evening" without receiving overtime compensation.
 
According to the accusation, their pay was less than the minimum wage in Geneva for domestic workers, and funds were sent into indian bank accounts that they had difficulty accessing.


The Hinduja family was accused by the prosecution of stealing the passports of the domestic helpers and ordering them to stay at the property, where they were forced to sleep in a basement room without windows on bunk beds. The indictment states that the employees were required to be accessible at all times, including while traveling to france and Monaco, where they performed the same duties.
 
Jordan, the Hinduja family's attorney, dismisses the claims as "exaggerated and biased allegations." "The members of the Hinduja family vigorously deny these allegations," he stated in a statement released before to the verdict, according to The New York Times.
 
 


 

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