Four members of Hinduja family sentenced by Swiss court for exploiting servants

Four members of the billionaire Hinduja family have been sentenced to between four and 4.5 years in prison by a Swiss court for exploiting their household staff at their villa on Lake Geneva. However, the court has rejected the charges of human trafficking, AP reported.

Prakash Hinduja and his wife Kamal were handed 4.5 year sentences each. Their son Ajay and his wife, Namrata, were sentenced each to four years. The four accused will appeal the order before a higher court.

In its order, the Swiss court said the Hinduja family members were guilty of exploiting the workers and providing them with meagre health benefits. The court also noted that the wages paid to the staffers were less than one-tenth the pay for such jobs in Switzerland.

However, the court dismissed the trafficking charges, saying that the employees were aware of what they were getting into.

The prosecution had alleged that the Hinduja family, Britain’s wealthiest, also seized the passports of the workers, mostly illiterate Indians. It was also alleged that they spent more on their dog than on the salary of an employee.

Moreover, the employees were paid in rupees and not Swiss francs.

The four members also allegedly barred the workers from leaving the villa and forced them to work for long hours. In fact, on several occasions, the staffers were forced to work up to 18 hours a day with little or no vacation.

The family, which has roots in India, set up residence in Switzerland in the late 1980s.

The Hindujas have businesses in sectors like information technology, media, power, real estate and healthcare. The Hinduja family’s net worth is around $20 billion, as per Forbes.

Published By:

Poorva Joshi

Published On:

Jun 21, 2024

Leave a Comment