Billionaire Family Sentenced for Exploiting Workers

Billionaire Family Sentenced for Exploiting Workers

( – The Hinduja family is one of the richest in Europe. It owns the Hinduja Group, a conglomerate involved in many business sectors, including real estate, trading, healthcare, cyber security, automotive, oil, and specialty chemicals. Four of its members recently went on trial for exploitation and human trafficking, and a court found them guilty of the former. Now, they’re facing jail time.

On Friday, June 21, a Swiss court found Prakash, Kamal, Ajay, and Namrata Hinduja guilty of exploiting several workers from India. The court acquitted them of the human trafficking charge. A judge found the Hindujas had taken advantage of some of their workers in Geneva and seized their passports so they couldn’t return home.

They reportedly often forced the employees to work seven days a week, sometimes for 16 hours a day or more, for several months. They paid these same employees only $8 per day for their efforts, just a fraction of what Swiss law requires. Defense lawyers said they provided workers room and board. However, the workers’ complaint alleged they slept in a basement on mattresses on the floor. Their pay was infrequent, often disbursed every three to six months. Making matters worse, the employers were accused of depositing the pay into Indian banks, leaving employees struggling to access the funds.

On Friday, the court sentenced Kamal and Prakash Hinduja to four and a half years in prison. Ajay and Namrata received four years. The family must also pay more than $1 million; $950,000 will compensate former employees, and more than $300,000 will go toward legal fees.

Attorneys for the family said the verdict disappointed them, and they planned to appeal the case to a higher court. At the time of the ruling, the Hindujas were not in court as Kamal was very ill.

The judge also found the family’s business manager, Najib Ziazi, complicit in the matter. He received a suspended sentence of 18 months.

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