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Hindujas sentenced to over 4 years for exploiting staff at Swiss mansion

The Hinduja family, whose wealth is estimated to be 37 billion pounds ($47 billion), was given a shocking result when they were found not guilty of human trafficking but guilty of other crimes. The Hindujas were not present at the court.

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Annesha Barua -- June 22nd 2024 09:28 AM -- Updated: June 22nd 2024 09:35 AM
Hindujas sentenced to over 4 years for exploiting staff at Swiss mansion

Hindujas sentenced to over 4 years for exploiting staff at Swiss mansion

PTC News Desk: Four members of the wealthiest family in Britain received prison terms from a Swiss court on Friday for taking advantage of Indian employees at their Geneva estate.

The Hinduja family, whose wealth is estimated to be 37 billion pounds ($47 billion), was given a shocking result when they were found not guilty of human trafficking but guilty of other crimes. The Hindujas were not present at the court.


The presiding judge in Geneva decided that Prakash Hinduja and his wife Kamal Hinduja received sentences of four years and six months apiece, while their son Ajay and his wife Namrata received terms of four years.

The instances involve claims that the family seized the servants' passports after they were transported to Switzerland, and they are related to the family's custom of importing domestic help from their home country of India.

The prosecution claimed that the Hindujas provided their employees very little money and limited ability to leave the property.

Rejecting the accusations, the family stated that the prosecution sought to "do in the Hindujas".

The Hindujas and the three employees who leveled the claims against them came to a private, out-of-court settlement.

Despite this, the seriousness of the charges led the prosecution to decide to press the case.

Yves Bertossa, the prosecutor from Geneva, had asked for a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence for Prakash and Kamal Hinduja.

Both, who were 75 and 78 years old, had missed all of the trial's sessions due to illness.

The prosecutor charged the family of abusing the "asymmetrical situation" between a strong employer and a weak employee in his closing remarks.

The monthly salary of household workers ranged from 220 to 400 francs ($250–450), which was significantly less than what they could anticipate making in Switzerland.

Bertossa told the court, "They're making money off of the suffering of the world."

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"Not treated like slaves"

The three plaintiffs, according to the defense attorneys for the Hinduja family, were not kept in isolation and were able to leave the property after receiving sufficient rewards.

"We do not have mistreated slaves on our hands," Nicolas Jeandin declared to the judge.

In fact, his colleague attorney Robert Assael contended, the workers "were grateful to the Hindujas for offering them a better life".

Attorney Yael Hayat had criticized the "excessive" indictment on behalf of Ajay Hinduja, saying that the trial should focus on "justice, not social justice".

Romain Jordan, Namrata Hinduja's attorney, also asked for Namrata's acquittal, arguing that the prosecution wanted to use the family as an example.

He maintained that in addition to staff members' cash remuneration, the prosecution had omitted to disclose payments made to them.

"No worker was defrauded of their pay," Assael continued.

A few employees even requested raises, which they were granted.

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- With inputs from agencies

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