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Hindujas, UK’s richest family, get jail terms for exploiting staff at Swiss mansion

The prosecution alleged that the family spent more on their dog than on their servants. However, the defense argued that the employees received ample benefits, were not kept in isolation, and were free to leave the villa.

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Hindujas, UK’s richest family, get jail terms for exploiting staff at Swiss mansion

Story by Onuoha Sussan

A Swiss court has sentenced four members of the UK’s richest family, the Hindujas, to prison for exploiting their Indian staff at their Geneva villa.

Prakash and Kamal Hinduja, their son Ajay, and his wife Namrata were found guilty of exploitation and illegal employment, but acquitted of human trafficking.

The three workers, who were brought over from India, sued the family for paying them as little as £7 ($8) per day for 18-hour workdays, less than a tenth of the amount required under Swiss law.

They also alleged that their passports were confiscated and they were rarely allowed to leave the house, which is located in Geneva’s wealthy neighborhood of Cologny.

The prosecution alleged that the family spent more on their dog than on their servants. However, the defense argued that the employees received ample benefits, were not kept in isolation, and were free to leave the villa.

The defense also claimed that the employees “were grateful to the Hindujas for offering them a better life”.

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The court rejected the defense’s arguments and sentenced the family members to over four years in prison. The family plans to appeal the ruling.

This case highlights the mistreatment of servants in wealthy households, an issue that has previously come to light in Geneva. The Hinduja family owns the Hinduja Group, a multinational company with interests in oil, gas, and banking, and also owns Raffles hotel in London. Their fortune is estimated to be around £37 billion.

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