Hinduja family faces jail time for exploiting domestic workers

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Srichand, Gopichand, Prakash (currently serving sentence), and Ashok — four sons of Parmanand Deepchand Hinduja, known as the Hinduja brothers.

LONDON, June 22: In a recent court ruling in Switzerland, four members of Britain’s wealthiest family, the Hindujas, faced jail time after being found guilty of exploiting vulnerable domestic workers and providing unauthorized employment. The defendants, Prakash Hinduja, his wife Kamal, their son Ajay, and his wife Namrata, were sentenced to between four and four-and-a-half years in prison. The charges stemmed from their treatment of workers, mostly illiterate Indians, employed at their lakeside villa in Geneva.

While the Hinduja family was acquitted of more serious charges related to human trafficking, the court found them guilty of various forms of exploitation. Allegations included confiscating workers’ passports, paying them in Indian rupees instead of Swiss francs, and subjecting them to long hours of work for minimal pay. Despite claims from the family’s legal team that the workers were treated respectfully and provided accommodation, prosecutors described a coercive environment with little regard for labor laws.

Prakash and Kamal Hinduja, aged 78 and 75 respectively, did not attend the trial due to health reasons. However, they were each sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail, while Ajay and Namrata received four-year sentences. The defendants’ business manager, Najib Ziazi, also faced sentencing, receiving an 18-month suspended sentence.

The case against the Hindujas began after allegations of illegal activity, including exploitation and human trafficking, were raised. Workers, employed in roles such as cooks and house help, reportedly endured grueling work hours with minimal breaks and wages far below Swiss legal standards. Some employees were allegedly paid in Indian rupees through inaccessible bank accounts, highlighting the extent of their exploitation.

In response to the verdict, Swiss authorities seized assets from the Hinduja family, including jewelry and other valuables, as potential payment for legal fees and penalties. Despite the legal outcome, the defendants’ legal team intends to appeal the ruling, signaling ongoing legal battles surrounding the case.

This news has been read 733 times!

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