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Hinduja: Britain's richest man found guilty of exploiting servants

Hinduja: Britain's richest man found guilty of exploiting servants
Hinduja: Britain's richest man found guilty of exploiting servants


Four members of Britain's richest family have been sentenced to prison for exploiting staff they brought in from India to work at their Geneva villa.

Prakash and Kamal Hinduja, their son Ajay, and his wife Namrata were found guilty by a Swiss court of exploitation and illegal employment and sentenced to four to four and a half years in prison.

They were acquitted of the more serious charge of human trafficking.

Lawyers representing the defendants said they plan to appeal the ruling.

Defense lawyer Robert Asael said outside court he was “shocked” and “we will fight until the end.”

The three workers, brought from their native India, claimed their families paid them as little as $7 ($8) for an 18-hour day, less than a tenth of what Swiss law requires, and confiscated their passports.

They also claimed that the family, whose fortune is estimated to be around $37 billion, was rarely allowed to leave their home in Colonie, a wealthy neighborhood in Geneva.

During the trial, prosecutors claimed the family spent more money on their dogs than on their servants.

The defense argued that employees received full benefits, were not quarantined and were free to leave the villa.

The employees “were grateful to Hinduja for giving them a better life,” Mr. Assael claimed.

Hinduja, who is over 70 years old, did not attend the court proceedings citing poor health. Ajay and Namrata were present in court but were not present there to hear the verdict.

This is not the first time that Geneva, the center of the world's rich as well as international organizations, has attracted attention due to allegations of servant abuse.

Last year, four Filipino domestic helpers filed a lawsuit against one of the diplomatic missions in Geneva to the United Nations, claiming they had not been paid for years.

The Hinduja family owns the Hinduja Group, a multinational group with interests in the oil, gas and financial sectors.

The family also owns the Raffles Hotel in London.




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