Written by 07:26 World

Swiss Court Convicts Hinduja Family of Exploiting Domestic Workers

A Swiss court on Friday found members of Britain’s wealthiest family guilty of exploiting domestic workers at a luxury villa in Geneva, but acquitted them of the more serious charge of human trafficking.

Prosecutors had charged four members of the family — Prakash Hinduja; his wife, Kamal Hinduja; their son Ajay Hinduja; and their daughter-in-law Namrata Hinduja — with trafficking and exploiting several workers from India.

They were accused of confiscating the employees’ passports and forcing them to work 16 hours a day or longer without overtime pay in the villa. Lawyers representing the Hindujas had denied the allegations.

The court on Friday sentenced Prakash and Kamal Hinduja to four years and six months in prison, and Ajay and Namrata Hinduja to four years, according to news agencies. It also ordered them to pay about $950,000 in compensation, as well as about $300,000 in procedural fees. Najib Ziazi, a business adviser for the family who also faced charges, was found complicit in the exploitation.

In a statement emailed by Romain Jordan, a lawyer representing the Hindujas, members of the family said they were “disappointed” by the decision and had filed an appeal to a higher court. “The family has full faith in the judicial process and remain determined to defend themselves,” the statement added.

The Hinduja family leads a multinational conglomerate with large holdings in automotive manufacturing, banking, oil and gas, real estate and health care. The Sunday Times of London recently estimated the family’s net worth at 37 billion pounds, or $47 billion, and listed the Hindujas as Britain’s richest family.

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Last modified: 22 June 2024
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